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5 Common Retainer Problems That You Must Know About

Retainer fitting

We cannot stress enough how retainers are a crucial part of your braces or clear aligners journey. By now you probably already know that if you don’t wear your retainers religiously after your braces come off, then your teeth will gradually shift back to their original position.

While wearing retainers is not rocket science, you might come across certain complications when it comes to daily maintenance of them. In this article, we will share with you 5 common retainer issues that you might come across and how you can handle them like a champ.

5 Common issues with retainers

1. Not the proper fit

Remember that retainer fitting is a serious deal. Ill-fitting retainers are a nightmare and they will do you more harm than good.

If your retainer is too loose or too tight, then it won’t be able to hold your newly aligned teeth as required. Hence, it is recommended that you immediately get them adjusted or fixed by your orthodontist.

2. Improper retainer alignment

While a minor shift in the retainer alignment over time is normal and nothing to fret about, if you notice that there is a major change in the alignment of your dental retainer then get them checked immediately. This is because improper retainer alignment can severely hamper your teeth-straightening results.

3. Immense discomfort

While a certain amount of discomfort is common if you are wearing your retainers for the first time, the discomfort shouldn’t be intolerable.

If you feel unbearable pain in your teeth and gums every time you wear your retainers, then it may be an indication that your retainers are too tight and not the right fit for you.

4. Change in shape

Has your retainer lost its original shape? This could lead to your retainers not fitting you correctly as they once did.

Wondering what causes a change in the shape of retainers? Washing your retainers in hot water, exposing them to extreme temperatures, dropping them, and stepping on them can cause your retainers to change their shape.

5. Plaque build-up

Even if you are diligent with cleaning your retainers, there is a chance that it forms a layer of bacteria, known as a plaque build-up on it over time. While cleaning removable retainers is easy, maintaining a bonded retainer can be tricky.

How to deal with common retainer problems?

The good news is that all of the above-mentioned teeth retainer issues can be easily managed and fixed if detected at the right time.

Here are some handy tips and hacks that will help you combat common retainer problems.

1. Clean your retainers properly

Just like how you keep your pearly whites clean, you must keep your retainers squeaky clean. Remember to brush your teeth every time you wear or re-wear your retainers for hygiene reasons.

2. Schedule regular retainer check-up appointments

If you feel like your retainer has changed its shape or is too tight, it is best to let your orthodontist evaluate it to check if it is something serious and needs fixing. Remember that wearing a broken or loose retainer will hamper your teeth straightening results.

3. Follow retainer-wearing instructions to a T

Simple instructions like you must never remove your retainers with your tongue should be followed religiously if you want to increase the longevity of your retainers and want them to give you the desired results.

Don’t hesitate to ask all your doubts and queries to your orthodontist if you are wearing retainers for the first time.

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Is it bad to wear a retainer every day?

No, in fact, it is recommended that you wear your retainers daily at least in the initial two years. After this, you can switch to wearing them only when you go to bed.

How long do removable retainers last?

Typically, removable retainers last for about 5-10 years if you maintain and store them properly.

Is it okay to wear an old retainer?

If it’s been several months or years since you have worn your retainers, then don’t even try to wear them now. It is recommended that you consult your orthodontist and get a new set of retainers.

How long do permanent retainers last?

Permanent retainers last longer in comparison to removable retainers. Ideally, they should last you anywhere between ten to twenty years, depending on how you maintain and store them.

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