Crooked teeth can cause more damage than just self-doubt. The most common ones are tooth decay and cavities, among other problems. Once the braces are off, the battle to align teeth is half one. The next phase of battle involves retainers and their care. A crucial part of this second phase to that million-dollar smile is knowing how to care for retainers and when to go for retainer replacement.
What are retainers?
Retainers are custom-made plastic or metal parts for each individual. There are no two retainers alike. They’re tailored to fit the mouth’s form and straighten the teeth. There are two types of retainers in general:
These can be put in and taken out daily. They can be clear retainers or wire retainers, made of wire plus a plastic-like substance, or transparent trays made of a plastic-like material.
These are made of a thin, custom-fitted wire connected to the upper or lower teeth on the tongue side.
Retainers are frequently used after braces are removed to allow the bone that supports the teeth to heal after the teeth have shifted. Retainers also aid in the maintenance of new placements of teeth after active orthodontic treatment is completed.
In some situations, the orthodontist may recommend a retainer to reposition a single tooth or close a gap between two teeth. Braces aren’t usually required in these situations and may need to be worn for several years to complete the task.
When to get a retainer replacement?
Since retainers are a long-time commitment, they need to be cared for and replaced promptly. One should never put off getting a replacement retainer to avoid the teeth shifting or migrating out of position. The longer one goes without using the retainer, the more likely teeth drift back to their original positions. Here are some indicators that they need a new retainer.
- The retainer is starting to wear out or has holes in it.
- The retainer may be cracked or broken.
- It is stained to the point of being unusable.
- The retainer is no longer comfortable to wear.
- The retainer is misplaced.
- It no longer fits due to a pause in wearing it.
How to get a retainer replacement?
Getting a replacement retainer may appear different depending on the technology used by the consulting orthodontist. More or less, the general procedure for receiving a replacement retainer applies to almost all orthodontist clinics.
Making a model of the teeth is the first step in receiving a replacement retainer. The orthodontist may need to make an appointment for a new 3D scan or impression of the teeth. They will then create a replica of the teeth using the scan or image to create a new retainer replacement.
At times, clinics maintain the scans of their patients, and the same can be used to create the new set.
Retainers are a much-needed step into the course of teeth alignment. To make the entire process a success, one must pay heed to the condition of their retainers to prevent causing damage unconsciously.