After your braces finally come off, you will need to wear a retainer for the rest of your life. This ensures that your teeth won’t try to shift back to their original positions. It’s very common, however, for patients to discover one day that their retainer no longer fits in their mouth. This is not the end of the world! It just means that it’s time to give Dr. Natalia Valderrama, your orthodontist in Melbourne a call. Here’s a closer look at the reasons why your device might no longer fit.
Did the Retainer’s Shape Change?
A retainer is actually a fairly delicate orthodontic appliance. It’s not uncommon for people to accidentally change the shape of the retainer without realizing it. Accidentally dropping it or setting a heavy textbook on top of it can change the shape of the wire or the plastic. Not to mention dropping it and then accidentally stepping on it! (This happens a lot.)
Another really common way people damage their retainer is by putting it in water that’s too hot when they are cleaning it. We often think of hot water as a great way to kill germs, but with the soft plastic in the device, hot water can cause serious problems. If the temperature of the water is too high, it can cause the plastic to warp. You may not even be able to see the difference — but you will notice it when you try to put the retainer in and it no longer fits properly (or at all).
Did the Position of Your Teeth Change?
On the other hand, your retainer might be in perfect shape but the position of your teeth changed. If this happens it could mean that you are not following the instructions from your orthodontist.
A retainer needs to be worn for a prescribed number of hours each day. After wearing braces, those teeth are going to want to naturally shift back to their original positions. If a patient does not wear the retainer often enough and the teeth start to slowly slide out of place, the device will become more uncomfortable. Eventually, it won’t fit at all!
If it gets to the point where your retainer simply does not fit, it’s time to come in for an appointment.
Step One: Call Dr. Natalia Valderrama, your Melbourne Orthodontist
Did the family dog use your retainer for a chew toy? Did you drop it and then watch in horror as it rolled down a hill until a garbage truck ran over it? Or is it just a big mystery as to why your retainer no longer fits? No matter the reason, your first step should be to call Valderrama Orthodontics in Melbourne so we can remedy the situation. The longer you go without wearing your retainer, the bigger the risk that your teeth are shifting back out of place.
The first thing we will do is take a look at your retainer to see if its shape has actually changed. If a wire is bent, we may be able to reshape it for a quick fix. If the plastic has been warped by a hot water incident or something else, you will likely need to be fitted for a new one.This is a simple process that you have already been through once: Since our practices in Suntree, Viera and Rockledge are fully digital, you will get scanned by our Trios scanner and within 24 hours using our 3D printing technology, you will have a brand new set of retainers ready for you to come pick up! No more gooey molds or waiting days for a new retainer..
If your teeth have shifted but your retainer still “sort of” fits, it could be that you’re not wearing it often enough. In some cases, we might instruct you to start wearing the device “full time” until your teeth readjust to it. If the teeth have shifted too much, it may require a short period of orthodontic treatment, followed by getting scanned for a brand new retainer.
Move Quickly if Your Retainer No Longer Fits
If your retainer doesn’t fit properly for any reason, get in touch with us at our Valderrama Orthodontics office in Melbourne, Fl at 321-425-5050 as quickly as possible. If your teeth shift too much because of a delay in getting a new retainer, you might even need to go back to braces or Invisalign for a time, in order to re-straighten your teeth. It’s important to act quickly!