4 Tell-Tale Signs You Need a New Retainer – Our Guide


The importance of a retainer: A recent study reveals that an increasing number of Australians aren’t happy with their teeth. For this reason, they seek professional orthodontic treatment to correct their teeth and improve their overall smile. In fact, 55 per cent of Australians feel self-conscious about their teeth, while 62 per cent would like to have their crooked teeth fixed. 

Fortunately, the advancements in orthodontic technology have increased over the years to offer more innovative solutions. This specialised area of the dental industry focuses on the correct alignment of the jaw and facial structure using braces, aligners, and other orthodontic appliances. The ultimate goal is to move teeth into a desired position, enhancing oral appearance and health. Because of this, getting orthodontic care can make a difference in your oral goals!

Now, if you’ve gotten your braces removed years and years ago, or aligners in more recent years, your orthodontist would have advised you to wear a retainer. One of the most frequently asked questions, however, is when should you consider replacing your retainer. To answer this crucial question, here are four tell-tale signs you need to have a new one:

1. Small cracks or damages

As far as retainers are concerned, you may either have only a removable retainer or a combination of a clear and bonded wire retainer. With constant use and abuse, both can get damaged over time, which will be manifested in small cracks. The worst thing is to see severe damages because that would render your retainer unusable. When confronted with this situation, it’s time to get it replaced. Any cracks in your clear aligners or breaks in your bonded wire is a sure sign the integrity of the retention device has been comprimised.

2. Loose retainer

As its main function is to keep your teeth aligned, your retainers should fit your teeth. Over time, however, it will become exhausted and stretched. When this occurs, you will begin to feel that it’s already lost its grip and can significantly impact its function. Because of this, you should get your retainer replaced as soon as possible! A replacement every 6-12 months is usually a safe bet (that’s accounting for you wearing them often enough to get their fair use!) 

3. Dirty retainer

There is nothing more unappealing than a dirty retainer. Apart from the fact that it’s unsightly in appearance, it can also impact your oral health. A dirty retainer may be brought by calcium accumulation or tartar buildup. When it is left unattended for long periods, it easily becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to gum diseases (gingivitis or periodontitis), sore throat, and other infections. Be sure to clean it by soaking it in denture cleaner found at your local chemist. If it remains dirty, consider getting a new one- some can’t be saved from the depths of filth you’ve exposed it to!

4. Lost retainer

Orthodontists recommend that you wear the retainer all the time for the first six months to one year post active treatment. The goal of active treatment is move your teeth into their proper position, the challenge of post treatment is keeping them there. That first 12 months is so crucial to the success of your smile for life. If you have lost your retainer, don’t delay getting a new one. The longer you go without one, the more your teeth will move out of place and the more guilt you will feel towards your orthodontist.

Conclusion on retainers

At this point, you should now know when to consider replacing your retainer. If not, as outlined above,  you should get a new one if your retainer has small cracks, has become loose, has stubborn dirt, or you’ve lost it. Ultimately, using the right and proper product can make a difference in your teeth’s alignment, oral function, and overall smile for life!

From the initial consultation to your retention program and guaranteeing your teeth stay straight for life, our team makes sure you’re given everything you need to make and continue to make informed decisions about your teeth! We also offer a professional orthodontic treatment on the Gold Coast that is tailored to suit your lifestyle and smile needs. Book a free consultation with us today and experience world-class treatments!

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