Retainers are a great way to straighten your teeth, but keeping up with their maintenance is essential for your dental health. For one thing, retainers do not protect you from cavities, tooth decay, or gum disease, which makes it important to keep seeing the dentist recurrently to ensure your dental health is in order.
Additionally, dental retainers often need to be replaced even if your teeth are not pulled in their most optimal position yet.
How Can You Know if Your Retainers Need Replacing?
Look for the following signs to know if you might need new retainers:
- They feel loose - If the retainers don’t sit properly and you feel like they are moving too much or might even fall out, this is a clear sign you’ve outgrown your retainers. The material has most likely worn down over time, which means it is not tight enough to pull your teeth to the position you need, impacting your straightening timeline.
- They don't fit - If you cannot get your retainers back onto your teeth, it’s another clear sign you need a new pair. Retainers can change their shape for a variety of reasons, such as cleaning them in the dishwasher or using very hot water. The same can happen if you don’t wear your retainers for a while - when you want to put them back in, you’ll likely struggle as your teeth have already moved position.
- You see some cracks - Retainers are not indescribable. If you inspect them and see small cracks in the material, you need to get them replaced right away. Cracks mean your pair cannot keep the teeth in their right position anymore. If ignored, you might end up extending your straightening timeline needlessly.
- You notice calcium buildup - Over time, calcium can build up in your retainers, even if you care for them following your dentist’s instructions. It can get to the point where the buildup is quite visible, which makes many patients stop wearing them altogether. If you notice this buildup, get the replacement as soon as possible to get back on your treatment plan!
You might need to change your retainers even if you don’t see any of these signs. If you visit your orthodontist recurrently, they can recommend a new pair if the current one has run its course, or they reassess your treatment plan.
Additionally, frequent appointments can also help you stay on top of your dental health needs, and spot any of these four signs before they create bigger problems with your tooth alignment.
Jackson Family Dentistry Is Here To Help
Want to straighten your smile? Jackson Family Dentistry is here to help you access the best dental care in the Jackson, Germantown, and Hartford areas!
Book a consultation with Dr. Ben Heffter or Dr. Pako Major online, or call us directly at (262) 677-3003 to find out more information.