How often Should You Replace Your Retainer

How often should you replace your retainer? Many people wonder how often a retainer needs to be replaced because as they age, they begin to show wear.

Although your retainer may be old, if it still fits correctly you may be just fine. There are a few instances, according to Dr. David Newman, DDS; Newman Family Dental, that you may need to replace your retainer in order to prevent your teeth from shifting.

If you are having problems with your dental retainer, the tips below should help you.

How often should you replace your retainer? If the metal wire on your dental retainer is frequently bent from not taking care of the retainer properly you may need a new retainer. In some cases, your dentist can adjust the retainer but if the wire is badly misshapen, a replacement will be suggested.

Broken – Dentists don’t recommend any type of home repair such as glue to repair a broken retainer. Most glue’s are poisonous and a repair done using them can cause other health related problems.

Additionally, adding a layer of glue between cracks and breaks in a retainer will actually make it larger width wise and it will not fit your teeth snuggly.

Wisdom Teeth – If you wore braces and had them taken off before your wisdom teeth came in, a new retainer could be needed. If your mouth does not have enough space when wisdom teeth start to erupt, they will push the other teeth forward.

If you just had your braces removed, this can cause the newly straightened teeth to crowd together again. This can be avoided if caught soon enough. Your dentist may recommend that you have the wisdom teeth extracted.

The reason why your dentist instructs you to wear your retainer every day and especially while you sleep, is because your teeth aren’t settled. While you have braces on your teeth are pulled into a desired position to make them straight.

This creates pockets around the teeth that must be filled in with bone and this takes time for your body to do.

By the time that you get your braces taken off your teeth, some bone, has developed but it is not yet strong enough to stop the teeth from shifting. This is the job of your dental retainer.

Over the course of the 6 to 8 months that you have to constantly wear the retainer, it allows the new bone to completely harden. From this point, you may only have to wear your retainer at night.

Choosing not to wear your retainer, for even a couple months after you had your braces removed can cause them to shift. You have probably heard someone say that braces didn’t work for them or that after having braces their teeth went back to how they were initially.

Dentists don’t rule out this rare occurrence however lost, broken or patients failure to wear the retainer are the top reasons that this happens.

The dental retainer is just as important as the braces that straightened your teeth. If you are having problems with your retainer, see your dentist immediately. You should also have your retainer professionally cleaned by your hygienist regularly.