Your new smile needs to be kept as is. You spent money and time perfecting your teeth, it is important to keep your retainer, whatever the device is, in tip-top form. There will be a time when your retainer needs replacing. In this post, we’ll take you through 5 reasons why you should replace your retainer. Let’s get looking.
How a Retainer Works
There are two main types of retainers: fixed and removable. As its name suggests, the fixed type is installed in the patient’s mouth. This type is typically used for the front upper and/or lower teeth because it is the most reliable in terms of ensuring the teeth remain precisely straight.
The removable type of retainer can be used on its own or with one or more fixed retainers. If fixed retainers are installed, the removable retainer(s) will fit right over their fixed counterparts. Removable retainers are easier to use since they can be taken out to eat, floss and brush, or for special events. But because they do not remain in place at all times, the teeth can achieve some minimal movement during the time a removable retainer is not being worn.
A removable retainer also typically uses thin pieces of wire to control tooth movement, but it does this in combination with an impression of the upper and/or lower palates that holds the retainer wires in place inside your mouth. Another option that is often used looks similar to an aligner in that it is a clear mold of the teeth with only a shallow shelf that is only barely visible from the front of the teeth.
A Loose Retainer
Tooth retainers are a vital tool for effective tooth care. If they start feeling loose, or if you’re no longer wearing them enough to keep everything where it belongs then don’t wear the retainer anymore. Loose retainers will not be able to hold anything in place so just throw away your old one and get yourself another one that fits better.
A Warped Retainer
Modern-day dental appliances such as retainers come with many benefits but also risks for their users which includes breaking down from normal use over time without proper care. A common issue among those who wear these types of equipment are accidents involving dishwashers/ washing machines (or hot water) causing cracks or dents to the device and rendering them unusable.
A Lost Retainer
Retainers are a vital part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums, so don’t be discouraged if you lose your retainer. Just get another one. Retainers are lost every day, you may leave them in a restaurant or accidentally throw them away. Either way, make an appointment with your provider and they will provide a replacement. You may be charged or you may get ONE complimentary included in the initial price.
No one wants a mouthpiece that is uncomfortable or caked with calcium. If you notice either problem, get in touch with your provider.
After a long time, as with most things, the efficiency of your retainer will degrade. An old retainer will stretch and warp a little, This will mean your retainer is effectively useless and needs replacing. At the end of the day, your teeth are stronger than plastic and will always win.
Gluck Orthodontics is a trusted name in orthodontic care. Dr. Gluck is a board-certified orthodontic specialist (a distinction only one-quarter of all practising orthodontists today can claim). He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.
Here at Gluck Orthodontics, we proudly provide our patients with the very latest in orthodontic care plus a little something extra from the friendly staff that we like to call ‘The Gluck Experience.’ To learn more and schedule your initial orthodontic consultation, call us at 615-269-5903. Or visit us online or in person.