5 Signs Your Retainer Needs A Replacement


After orthodontic treatment, you will need a retainer in order to maintain that perfect smile that you got through orthodontic treatment. Unfortunately, we don’t have the technology for an eternal retainer (yet). You will need to eventually schedule an appointment for retainer replacement.

Woman goes to orthodontist for retainer replacement in Asheville

5 common signs that mean your retainer needs to be replaced

Need to replace your retainer? You can easily request an appointment through our website. With orthodontic offices in Asheville, Hendersonville and Brevard, we have a convenient location for anyone in Western North Carolina.

1) Small Cracks in the Retainer

Orthodontic retainers come in a variety of different options. Depending on when you got your braces (or other type of orthodontic treatment), you might have a retainer that is primarily made of wire, or you might have one that is made of a material similar to what’s used for Invisalign aligners. After you’ve had a retainer for a year or more, the material starts to break down. If you notice that there are cracks in your retainer while examining it, then it’s probably time for a retainer replacement.

Left unaddressed, these cracks will only continue to get bigger. Eventually, the retainer will lack the structural strength needed to keep your teeth in their proper alignment. Letting a retainer go means that you’re running the risk of losing that perfect smile that you invested so much in to.

2) Your Retainer is Loose

If your retainer starts feeling loose, that’s a strong sign that it’s time to replace it. This doesn’t mean there is an issue with your teeth. Retainers wear down overtime and grow wider. This is why they can feel loose eventually, even if you have been good about wearing it. The issue here is that you are no longer getting the benefit of wearing the retainer. A loose retainer will not keep your teeth in place. We strongly urge you to get a replacement retainer before getting to the point that it no longer fits. Your teeth can begin to shift (slowly) back to their original position without that retainer in optimal condition.

That perfect smile means a lot to you and it means a lot to us at Blue Ridge Orthodontics. Being mindful of your retainer and replacing it before it loses its function is essential in keeping your smile looking perfect for life.

3) Your Retainer is Warped

Modern retainers are great, but those benefits come with a greater risk of them getting damaged or warped. Remember, a retainer that doesn’t fit is one that doesn’t work. A common scenario that we’ve dealt with here at BRO is a retainer that got warped because someone put it in the dishwasher or you tried to use very hot water to clean it. This is a situation where you would want to give us a call.

If you go for an extended period of time without wearing your retainer, it may hurt when you put your replacement retainer in for the first time. This is not a defect with the retainer itself. It means that you need to wear your retainer more often.

4) Too Much Calcium Has Built Up in the Retainer

Even if you are diligent about proper retainer maintenance, calcium can build up on your retainer over time. The problem is that calcium buildup can easily discourage one from wearing their retainer as often as they should. If you or your child has stopped wearing their retainer do to a nasty calcium buildup, it is time to get a replacement. You can easily schedule an appointment with Blue Ridge Orthodontics to get a retainer replacement at one of our orthodontic offices in Western North Carolina.

5) You Lost Your Retainer

Losing things is a frustrating but natural part of life. Remember that you are going to be using your retainer over the long run in order to maintain that beautiful smile. Over the years, moves, career transitions, new relationships and so much more present numerous opportunities to lose your retainer. It happens to the best of us.

If you have lost your retainer, please don’t wait too long to get a replacement. Our orthodontists will want to bring you to take a new impression for your replacement retainer. If it has been a while since you lost your retainer, then the new one will gently squeeze your teeth back into alignment. It’s also recommended that you establish a good place to store your retainer, so it is easy to put them back in before you go to bed.

Retainer Fatigue – What is That?

As a diamond level Invisalign provider, it should come as no surprise that many of our patients end up with clear retainers after their orthodontic treatment has finished. Like Invisalign and our impressions aligners, these clear retainers are highly discrete and this makes it easier for our patients to wear them more often.

However, there is a downside to this type of retainer – the material will fatigue over time. Every time that you take out your clear retainer, it actually stretches the material a minute amount. The retainer will eventually be stretched enough to allow for micro movements in your teeth. If you don’t get your retainer replaced, that stretching will continue and your teeth will be allowed to move further out of their proper alignment.

Retainer fatigue is the reason why people can still experience some minor movement in their teeth even if they’re diligent about wearing their retainer. The simple truth is that your teeth are stronger than your clear retainercrazy right? If we were to give a former patient a brand new retainer produced from the mold we took after they got their braces off, it would feel tighter.

Order Your Replacement Retainer From BRO

You need to wear your retainer if you want to maintain that perfect smile that you’ve earned through orthodontic treatment. This can come as a surprise to patients, but your retainer is so important. if your retainer is broken or lost, we urge you to not let it go. Order your replacement retainer from Blue Ridge Orthodontics in Western North Carolina. The process is simple, convenient and very affordable.

Call us today at (828) 585-6045 if you have any questions about your retainer or getting a replacement. BRO has offices in Asheville, Hendersonville and Brevard. we have a friendly and very talented orthodontic team that’s ready to answer any of your questions.

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