When Do I Need a New Orthodontic Retainer?
It’s always a happy moment for any orthodontic patient when the day the braces come off arrives. Getting it off makes everybody happy: the patient, the parents, and the doctor. It’s almost like a high school commencement day.
Getting the braces off isn’t the end of your dental treatment. You may have received the proper care and got your teeth perfectly aligned, but the day your braces come off is the beginning life-long maintenance to hold or “retain” the teeth in its ideal position.
Actually, retention is something all people should consider in their lives, as it’s a fact that everything in our bodies will eventually deteriorate as time goes by, including the teeth. If you’ve been wanting to have your teeth appliance checked for a while now, continue reading to know when is the right time to see your ortho.
The Role of Retainers
To better understand their purpose and use let’s discuss why they are needed and when it should be worn.
A retainer is a custom-made mouthpiece that help get the teeth accustomed their new positions. When an ortho finishes treatment, the bone and gum around your teeth aren’t enough to hold the teeth in place. The force received by the teeth from eating and speaking stimulate the bone and gums stimulate the bone and gums, which is why it needs something to secure its final position.
Without the help of a proper mouthpiece, your teeth will only slide back into their crooked positions, putting the money in your orthodontic treatment to waste. It helps stabilize the final result.
When Replacing is Needed
Often, patients would ask when their teeth support should be replaced. The answer to that question is different for everybody, but here are some clues if it’s time to shell out money for replacements:
- It is worn out from normal wear
- It is damaged
- It doesn’t feel right or doesn’t fit the patient anymore
If it’s worn out…
Everything is prone to wear and tear. Your shoes will eventually wear out especially if you’re using the same pair every day. Your contacts will look dull when worn every day for years. The same goes for retainers.
The longevity of dental mouthpieces depends from patient to patient. In most cases, they can last for two to three years, but some can even reach a decade. The signs you should watch out for include:
- A loose fit
- Broken solder joints
- Calcium build up
If it dawns on you that you suddenly feel disgusted having to wear your teeth support, then it’s probably time to for replacements.
If it’s damaged…
If your mouthpiece is damaged for some reason that you can no longer wear it, take it to the dental clinic immediately. Replacing it might be needed, but you’re lucky if it just needs a few repairs.
It can attain damage if you don’t store them properly. Some people stepped or sat on it, while others got chewed on by their pets at home. When it comes to thermoformed mouthpieces, leaving them in water that has a way too high temperature will damage it.
If you’re not wearing yours, store it in the case so little kids can’t reach them, your dog won’t find them, and so you can avoid instances of damaging it yourself.
If it doesn’t fit…
On the first day you receive your custom-made mouthpiece, it must fit correctly. Believing that will fit eventually in time is a wrong practice. If you feel uncomfortable and it just seems yours don’t feel right, ask your ortho to have it changed right away. If it does fit, wear it according to your doctor’s prescription to ensure that the new positions of your teeth will be kept in place.
It’s important to understand there is no mouthpiece that can stop the movement of teeth. We use our teeth at all times, so yes, they’re prone to change. The moment you get lazy in wearing your mouthpiece, your teeth will move so much, rendering your appliance useless since it won’t fit you anymore.
This is why some patients have to return to the clinic to have theirs re-fitted again. The orthodontist won’t be always successful in adjusting your mouthpiece, especially if your teeth have moved so much. If this happens to you, you’ll have to spend another load of cash for a new one.
Proper Care and Maintenance
Since you’re asking if you need a new one, it’s just proper that we discuss proper care and maintenance in order to ensure that your mouthpiece stays in shape for as long as it can. When properly cared for, your teeth support will last long enough.
Orthodontists can all agree that you should be not miss your 6-month hygiene visits so they can check the condition of your appliance and clean it.
When you receive yours for the first time, make sure that you:
- Clean it all the time: You don’t want plaque and bacteria to accumulate and make your appliance look unsightly and stinky. Use a soft brush and warm water to rinse them after you eat.
Clean it all the time:Don’t use a tissue to wrap it:Take care of it gently:
- Don’t use a tissue to wrap it: You’re only making it more difficult to clean your mouthpiece because pieces of tissue have stuck on it.
- Take care of it gently: Don’t aggressively insert or remove your appliance. Always be gentle so that you won’t break or bend the wires.
Leading Orthodontist in Spartanburg, South Carolina
Your smile is one of the first things people see and and one of the most memorable ones they can cherish.
Dr. Eric Nease and Dr. Phil Higginbotham recognize the power of a beautiful smile, so they have decided to commit their lives offering patients the best orthodontics care in South Carolina.
Nease and Higginbotham Orthodontics are:
- SC’s best ortho clinic
- Committed to providing adorable oral care, even without insurance
- Offering emergency dental services
- A dental service that you can have near your home
Book an appointment today if you think you need retainer replacements or repairs.