Posted on February 12th, 2021
We find, quite often, that patients forget about retainer replacement once they have completed their orthodontic treatment. We want to make sure that you protect your investment in your new smile by consistently wearing your retainers. Forgoing your retainers will cause your teeth to eventually return to the same position they were in before you had Uniform Teeth treatment. Naturally, teeth do shift, but in order to maintain your smile goals wearing your retainer is very important.
Our retainers at Uniform Teeth, are made up of the same BPA-free plastic as the clear aligners used for each stage of your treatment. However, our retainers are a bit thicker because they are meant to be worn consistently, at night, for 6 months. It is important to note that these retainers are not eternal, they break down and need to be replaced twice a year. Here’s what happens after 6 months of use:
Small Cracks Because our retainers are made out of plastic, they are prone to cracks. If you are examining your retainer and notice a few cracks, it is time to order a replacement. Although these cracks may look minor, they can continue to grow, and then the retainer will no longer have the strength needed to keep your teeth in place. We have found that many of our patients who grind their teeth at night are more likely to see cracks sooner in their retainers due to nightly grinding.
It’s Feeling Loose Another sign that it is time to upgrade your retainers if they feel loose. Naturally, over time, retainers will wear down and become wide and unfitting. When the retainers become loose-fitting, they will no longer do their job of keeping your teeth in place. It is very important to order a replacement set before this happens because at that point your teeth will begin to slowly shift back to their original position.
It’s No Longer Fitting Sometimes retainers lose their shape and no longer fit the way they were intended to. This problem is especially common if you clean them in the dishwasher or use other methods with very hot water. If you feel like your retainer has changed shape and doesn’t fit well anymore, reach out to our Care Team to see if it is time to replace your set.
It is important to know that if you do not wear your retainer consistently or it has been a long time since you’ve worn them last, it is more likely that your teeth will hurt or feel sore when you put them on again. This is not a sign that your retainer is ‘bad,’ just that you need to wear them more often.
Calcium Buildup Even with the most diligent care, calcium can build up on your retainers. If there is too much build-up, it is time to order your replacement set of retainers.
Consistently wearing your retainers is the most important step in maintaining your new smile. Never let a lost or broken retainer stop you from protecting your smile. Instead, contact our Care Team to order a replacement set - it’s simple, easy, and affordable.