Retainers are an important step in improving the structure of your teeth. Many orthodontists prescribe retainers to help keep teeth in place, often after the teeth have been reshaped or corrected.
While retainers are certainly instrumental in providing individuals with better teeth overall, retainers won’t last forever and will eventually need to be replaced in order to prevent teeth from shifting again. For this reason, we’re going to share 5 signs it’s time to get new retainers.
1. Calcium Buildup
Unfortunately, calcium can buildup in your retainer even if you pay close attention to your retainer maintenance. This is because your mouth carries bacteria, making it’s easy for calcium deposits and tartar to build up.
When this happens, your retainer won’t just have a white appearance due to the calcium buildup, it can also smell and taste unpleasant. This can make wearing your retainer uncomfortable and you will be less likely to wear it consistently.
If your retainer has calcium buildup due to regular wear and tear, this is the perfect time to get a new retainer and start fresh.
2. Your Retainer is Loose
Another sign that it’s time to get a new retainer is if it’s loose. As stated previously, retainers experience regular wear and tear over time. After a while, the retainer will grow wider, which means that you won’t get the full benefits of wearing them.
This doesn’t mean that your teeth aren’t still in place, this just means that your retainer has run its course and it’s time for a new fitting. It’s always in your best interest to have retainers that fit your teeth, which is why you shouldn’t delay a new fitting if you notice that your retainer isn’t fitting as snug as it used to.
3. You See Cracks in Your Retainer
If you see cracks in your retainer, it’s a good time to replace them. Retainers will crack due to improper care and accidents. For this reason, it’s important to avoid certain actions for better retainer care.
For instance, ensure that your retainer is all the way in when you wear it and avoid pulling the retainer out forcibly. In addition, soak your retainer when it isn’t being worn.
4. Your Retainer is Warped
Many retainers are prone to warping. When this happens, your retainer won’t fit properly, which means it won’t work as effectively as it should. A warped retainer will take a different, more unusual shape, than how you originally received it from the orthodontist.
With that said, a warped retainer is often a result of retainers being cleaned in water that is too hot or retainers that are left in hot areas, causing it to change shape. In addition, a retainer can warp if it has been placed in a dishwasher or washing machine.
5. You’ve Lost Your Retainer
Too often, individuals will lose their retainers and either wait to find it or delay getting another one. But waiting to wear your retainer is actually not the best idea. In order to keep your teeth straight, it’s important to wear your retainer consistently.
Even if you feel like you’ve misplaced your retainer and you’ll eventually find it, there’s a good chance it will no longer fit depending on the length of time that has passed. For this reason, if you’ve misplaced your retainer, it’s important that you get a new fitting to avoid any issues with your teeth.
Retainers are an excellent way to improve the structure of your teeth to provide you with a more confident smile and even improve speech impediments. For individuals with a retainer, it’s important to follow best practices for improved retainer maintenance.
At Schwab Orthodontics, we are dedicated to providing high-quality orthodontic care. If you are ready to replace your retainer, contact us today to see how we can help.