Your retainer is a very crucial part of your orthodontic treatment plan. Not wearing it as directed can lead to your smile not being its most ideal.
Did you previously have orthodontic treatment, but have noticed your smile has shifted? What can you do to recapture that smile, without having to undergo orthodontic treatment all over again?
Your retainer is a very crucial part of your orthodontic treatment plan. Not wearing it as directed can lead to your smile not being its most ideal. It takes time for your teeth, and the tissues and ligaments of related to your smile, to get used to all the moving around that happened. These tissues and ligaments are elastic, and if something doesn’t hold them in place until your teeth have solidified in their new locations, your teeth will be pulled back to where they were before treatment began.
When to call our office for a new retainer:
If you catch your shifting smile quickly enough, you may be able to just wear a new retainer to get it back to where it was. We will craft a new retainer, and provide recommendations on its wear. It is crucial to follow these instructions in order to achieve your ideal smile again.
- If you have been wearing your retainer and it begins to feel loose, it is important that you visit us to get a new one made. It is possible for your retainer to become fatigued over time, causing it to no longer fit as snugly as it should.
- You may find the fit of your retainer changes over time. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including exposure to extremely high heat. If you regularly wash your retainer in extremely hot water, the plastic can change over time, leading to an improper fit.
- If you don’t wear your retainer as directed, you may also notice it no longer fits properly. This could be because your teeth have started to shift, so it is important to get a new retainer as soon as possible so we can prevent additional shifting of your smile.
- Retainers can be made of all plastic or a combination of plastic and metal. No matter the material your retainer is made from, it is important to inspect it regularly to ensure there are no cracks or damage that could negatively impact its effectiveness. Even tiny cracks may affect your retainer’s strength and ability to keep your teeth properly aligned.
- It is important to properly clean your aligner to keep your mouth healthy. If you notice your retainer has become dirty or has white buildup even though you regularly clean it, you may have tartar buildup. This can not only damage your retainer, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria which can then increase your risk for infection and illness, such as strep throat. If thorough cleaning doesn’t remove the white spots, you may need a replacement.
What happens if I need braces again?
If your relapse cannot be corrected with a retainer alone, the good news is relapses can be fixed quickly. Invisalign is a great option in this case – it’s almost invisible and gives you the freedom you enjoyed after your braces were removed.