Is it Time to Replace Your Retainer? 5 Signs!

Is it Time to Replace Your Retainer? 5 Signs!
Posted on 02/06/2023

A retainer protects your straight teeth from moving out of place. At Huls Orthodontics, Dr. Mark B. Huls will fit you with a retainer after braces so that you can get the most out of your orthodontic investment. If you've had your retainer for a while, you might wonder if there's ever a time to replace it. Get to know the top five signs of a failing retainer.

Physical Damage

Retainers can last anywhere from 12 months up to several years based on their type. There are two types of removable retainers:

  • Essix clear plastic
  • Hawley plastic and wire

If your retainers are several years old, inspect the material. There shouldn't be any damage to the plastic or metal wire. Holes, cracks, and other damage tell you it might be time to replace the retainer.

Residue Buildup

Ideally, we suggest cleaning the retainer as directed each day. Oral devices are constantly exposed to saliva and friction inside the mouth. Although you may be diligent about retainer hygiene, the materials can succumb to residue buildup. If you see minerals accumulating on the plastic or metal, it may be time to replace them.

Unusual Odor

Your retainer may look clean, but it has a foul odor. Bacteria may be developing on the device, which can be difficult to see with the naked eye. Contact Dr. Mark B. Huls at Huls Orthodontics today! Our team can fit you for a new retainer so that odors aren't an issue anymore.

Irregular Use

Getting your braces off was probably a thrilling day. Retainers are the logical next step, but it's easy to forget about them over time. Your teeth may shift if a retainer is not worn. If you don't use the retainer as often as you should, it may be time to replace it. The materials can warp with temperature swings, which leads to damage.

Discomfort Wearing the Retainer

If you have any discomfort wearing the retainer, a replacement may be needed. As you wear the device, it can change in shape. Plastic and metal wires can be adjusted to a certain extent, but today's retainers may need to be swapped out for new ones. Your teeth need the proper retainer shape to stay straight.

Visiting your Champaign orthodontist is the best plan when you are concerned about your retainer. Dr. Mark B. Huls is proud to serve this Illinois community. Call Huls Orthodontics today!