Following orthodontic treatment with Invisalign, clear braces, H4 braces, lingual braces, or traditional braces, all patients need to wear a retainer. Retainers are necessary for keeping the teeth in their new position. But, if your retainer doesn’t fit properly, it isn’t doing its intended job. Here’s how to know if your retainer fits properly.
Signs Your Retainer Doesn’t Fit Properly
Your orthodontist custom designed your retainer, especially for you. Therefore, it should fit comfortably in your mouth or over your teeth. If you notice any of the following, you should see your orthodontist for an adjustment or guidance. You shouldn’t try to bend or reshape your retainer, as you risk causing irreparable damage.
- Retainer feels loose
- Retainer feels tight
- You can’t put your retainer in easily
- Retainer rubs against your gums
- Retainer rubs against the roof of your mouth
- The retainer is cracked
Common Causes of Damage to Your Retainer Damaged
Retainers are susceptible to becoming misshapen, leading to a poor fit. Common causes of braces becoming deformed or damaged include:
- Heat, including hot water for washing
- Damage caused by a pet
- The retainer is dropped and stepped on
- Hard or chewy food dislodge the retainer (fixed retainers only)
- Cracks develop due to wear and tear on Hawley retainers
- Improper retainer removal (using the wire as a handle)
Can a Retainer Be Repaired if it is Damaged?
If your removable retainer no longer fits or has sustained damage, be sure you don’t throw it away. Instead, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist and bring in your retainer. In many cases, the retainer may be salvageable, saving you the cost of a new retainer.
If your permanent retainer comes off or breaks, it’s essential to see your orthodontist immediately. A broken permanent retainer may cut or scrape your tongue or the mouth's soft tissues, so you need to have it fixed as soon as possible. If your permanent retainer comes all the way off, bring it to your appointment so it can be reattached.
How Long Will I Have to Wear My Retainer?
Everyone’s treatment time is unique. So there’s no set length of time you’ll need to wear your retainer. Generally speaking, when you first complete your orthodontic treatment, you will likely have to wear your retainer most of the time. This ensures your teeth don’t start drifting into their old positions. But as time passes, your orthodontist will tell you that you only need to wear it a few days a week or only at night.
Ideally, you’ll continue wearing your retainer while you sleep a few nights a week, indefinitely. Teeth are prone to shifting, even years after orthodontic treatment. Wearing your retainer regularly will ensure that your teeth stay in their properly aligned position.
Schedule an Orthodontic Consultation in Newington, CT
If you’re ready to correct a bite problem or an issue with crowded, crooked, gapped, or slanted teeth for yourself or your child, request an appointment with Greater Hartford Orthodontics today, or call 860-667-8277. For your convenience, we begin seeing patients at 8:15 am Monday-Thursday. We are just minutes from West Hartford, New Britain, Bristol, Rocky Hill, Farmington, and Berlin.