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After completing orthodontic treatment, patients are typically instructed to use a retainer to keep their teeth in their new, ideal positions. It is recommended that patients wear their retainer 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the optimum effects. After the initial period of time, orthodontists often advise wearing the appliance at night to prevent teeth shifting.
But is it wise to keep using the same retainer for so long? Because retainers wear out over time, it’s important to know when to get a new one. These warnings point to the necessity for a new retainer to keep up with your oral hygiene routine.
When a retainer has been in use for a year or more, the material can start to show signs of wear. You may have found that your retainer has developed some minor flaws, such as chips or dents. These losses, however modest they may appear at first, will inevitably escalate. A retainer that has been broken will lose its shape and function, leaving you with a useless piece of wire or plastic in your mouth that is no longer able to keep your teeth in their proper alignment.
In time, your retainer may lose its original form and no longer provide the same level of comfort it did when you initially started using it. Incorrect maintenance includes putting the retainer in the dishwasher or washing it in extremely hot water. This can lead to the retainer becoming misshapen and unusable.
The fit of your retainer may change if you haven’t been wearing it consistently because your teeth have moved. If your retainer doesn’t feel comfortable in your mouth, it probably isn’t doing its job, and you should obtain a new one.
Large white “dirty” spots can appear on your retainer due to calcium buildup, irrespective of how often you clean it. The accumulation provides a fertile environment for microorganisms, raising the probability of developing throat or mouth infections. If your retainer has calcium buildup and you have tried everything to get rid of it, including soaking it in vinegar and using a denture cleaner, it’s time to get a new one.
That’s a given, but it bears mentioning. Losing your retainer is as likely as losing your phone, keys, or wallet since life is unpredictable. You should prioritize getting a new retainer if you ever lose yours. Your teeth are more likely to shift out of place the longer you go without a retainer.
Establish a systematic and safe spot to store your retainer after each use to reduce the likelihood of misplacing it.
Maintaining a straight and beautiful smile is simple if you know what indications to look out for that indicate it’s time to change your retainer. Do you want to know more about the best ways to keep your teeth straight, how to use aligners and mouth guards, and how to get a Hollywood smile? Get in touch with us right now!
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