When you get your traditional braces off or finish using the last Invisalign aligner, you may cheer with accomplishment.
Just know that the work is not done. The next step is often a retainer.
Depending on whether or not you wear it as you should or how well you care for it, you may come to a time when your retainer no longer fits properly. When this happens, you are going to need to know what to do.
Importance of Wearing a Retainer
Getting your retainer is often the last stage in your orthodontic treatment. When your teeth have already been straightened and have settled into their new position, your retainer will keep them there.
It is natural for teeth to want to move back to where they came from. So, if you are happy with your new smile, then it is important to wear it.
Unfortunately, many patients start out very diligent in their retainer-wearing, but this tends to dissipate as time moves on. After all, wearing a retainer is a lifelong thing. As life evolves, it is easy for it to get pushed aside or even shoved in a drawer. Falling out of the habit of wearing your retainer doesn’t take long. Before you know it, it will not quite fit the same.
If you have not worn your retainer in a while and you find that it feels a bit snug, but doesn’t put too much pressure, then you should wear it. You, your mouth, and your teeth may have grown unaccustomed to wearing the retainer, depending on how long you have gone without it. Putting it back in with this type of fitting should be fine.
However, if your retainer no longer fits properly, you will have to take additional steps.
Signs Your Retainer No Longer Fits Properly
When you wear your retainer every day, it does more than keep your new smile in place. The more you wear your retainer, the more it maintains a correct, proper fit. Otherwise, it can easily become misshapen or out of alignment with your teeth.
While you should be able to feel a difference when you place the retainer in your mouth, there are a few signs you can look out for to determine whether or not your retainer fits properly, such as:
- Feeling loose on either side
- Feeling too tight
- Causing irritation or swelling of the gums
Clear retainers can become warped over time, especially when they are exposed to heat. Sometimes they may be too distorted to be placed on your teeth at all.
Regardless of the type of retainer you have, do not attempt to make it fit again on your own. Instead, contact your orthodontist. If it has been a long time since you received your retainer, you do not have to visit the orthodontist that gave you the retainer in the first place. Find someone who is experienced and reputable within your community.
Retainers at Greater Hartford Orthodontics
Whether your retainer no longer fits or you are just starting out on your orthodontic journey, Greater Hartford Orthodontics can help.