Do I Need a New Retainer?

Retainers are an important part of your orthodontic treatment. After the braces are removed, you need to wear your retainer for life to maintain your perfect smile and keep your teeth from shifting. A lifetime of retainer wear is a long time. There are a number of situations that may come up, causing you to wonder, “Do I need a new retainer?” Keep reading for helpful info and tips on retainer replacement, retainer care, and more.

“My Retainer Is _____. Do I Need a New Retainer?”

Fill in the blank. You may need to get a new orthodontic retainer if:

  • It is broken or damaged. Retainers are commonly damaged by getting stepped on, sat on, or chewed up by the family dog. If your retainer is broken, contact your orthodontist right away to get it repaired or replaced.
  • It is worn out from normal wear. Most retainers last 2–3 years, or possibly much longer with the proper care and maintenance. If you notice discoloration, calcium buildup, distortion, loose joints, or a loose fit on your retainer, it may be time for a new one.
  • It no longer fits correctly. No retainer can totally prevent the teeth from moving. It’s your job to minimize movement by wearing your retainer regularly, according to your orthodontist’s instructions. If your teeth shift so much that your retainer doesn’t fit right, Dr. Dougherty may be able to adjust it. If not, it will need to be replaced.

More Info on Retainers

Want additional information that will help you get the longest life out of your retainer? To learn more, read our previous blog posts: Retainer Wear and Care Instructions, How to Clean Your Retainer, and Why You Should Wear Your Retainer for Life.

If you have any more questions—like “Do I need a new retainer?” or “What is a perfect bite?” or “What is the best age for braces?”—browse our blog or contact us. Call our office at 636.825.1000 or email info@doughertyorthodontics.com.