When do I need a new orthodontic retainer?

Once you get done with any orthodontic surgery or realignment method, retention process steps in. Being a lifelong process, it aims to keep teeth in their best shape about the surgery/realignment outcomes. If you laze out and do not wear the retainers as per the advice of your orthodontist, there is a high chance your teeth shift back to what they were post-braces.

Since it is an instrument of daily wear, it is inevitable that you will need a replacement after a certain period of time.

Although varying for each person, here are a few indications that would tell you to when to go for replacement and keep your grin gorgeous:

Fits no long

Your retainer must fit as soon as you get it. Thinking that fitting improves over time is a faulty assumption. Ask your orthodontist for another retainer if it doesn’t fit right away. Nonetheless, you need to remember that no retainer could stop the movement of your teeth.

You are supposed to follow the instructions of your orthodontist – wear the retainers regularly and keep your movements at a minimum.

You would know when your retainer is not fitting as it did at first. Loosening up of it would be the time when you get back to your orthodontist. His/her first attempt would be to adjust the same piece to the changed position of teeth. If it doesn’t work, then it’s about time you get a new one.

Broken or damaged

Spoilage of anything calls for another one, that’s the rule! Retainers are no different. There is a possibility that your retainer might get damaged by one means or another. For instance, someone steps over it or sits on it. It could also be that the dog might chew it, or it fell off inside the water that’s too hot. That is precisely the time when you need to get it fixed or replaced.

The best way to save that retainer replacement cost before it’s due time is to put them in sealed cases for better protection against spoilage.

When it’s worn out

Anything that you use on a daily basis is going to wear out. Be it the branded sneakers, those specs, and even a luxurious car. There is a specific time length for each to stay in decent shape. Same goes for the retainers.

As for them, this time length differs from one patient to another.

Some evident signs that your retainer has worn out include:

  • Distortion
  • Calcium build-up
  • Discoloration
  • Solder joint

As mentioned initially, loose fitting is a sign to go for a replacement.


There is no organ of the human body that does not wear out with age. Your teeth are no different. Having retainers in your mouth is not a disability. The only thing to remember when you get them is to make sure you take full care. Once you get used to having it in your mouth, follow the instructions of your doctor and you shall not find it hard to maintain them.

A simple sign to go for change is when you don’t get the similar sensation. Even when there is no damage, the thought that it has turned all gross should be enough to go for a replacement.

Always be certain that you take full care and keep its movement limited. Stay aware of the signs of its corrosion.

Clean your retainers carefully and keep them safe. The key to ensuring its prolonged good condition is to take all measures of safety. For sure, there will be a need to replace them, and you should always look out for indications to figure out that time.