When you are done with your teeth aligning treatment, then start post-treatment, which involves wearing retainers. These retainers keep your teeth in the new position. They are just like the aligners, but they don’t push your teeth in any position but keep them in place. They are your precious property after getting treatment.

But there are several reasons which may need you to replace your retainers with new ones. Every retainer set has life and expiry dates that may come sooner if you don’t take care of them. Thus, you may need replacement retainers.

How To Know It’s Time For Replacement Retainers?

There are different types of retainers available in the market, and each of them has a life after which they are useless. But there are telltale signs which indicate that it’s time for replacement retainers.

These signs are-

  • They Are Loose

With regular wear, your retainer may go wide and loose and won’t fit your teeth perfectly anymore. This is the biggest sign that they have served their purpose, and it’s time for new ones. Why you need a replacement retainer after them being loose is because they won’t keep your teeth in place any longer. It has nothing to do with the quality of the retainer. It is a process.

  • There Is Too Much Calcium In Your Retainers

Calcium buildup is a process that is inevitable even if you take proper care of your retainers. It makes a person averse to wearing them as they don’t look good. Go get a replacement retainer.

  • There Are Cracks In Retainer

If you have a retainer made of acrylic mold or plastic clear retainers, they start cracking after a year or two. If your retainers are old and don’t fit properly, check them for cracks. With time, these cracks enlarge and won’t serve their purpose so get a replacement retainer in time.

  • They are Warped

Cleaning your retainers too vigorously may also be problematic. If you run hot water over them or place them in the dishwasher, they are warped and won’t fit in anymore. It may hurt if you try to wear such retainers. Discard them and get new ones after consulting your doctor.

  • They Are Lost, Stepped On, Or Chewed

It is a common scenario that you didn’t put them in the case, and now you can’t find them, or you stepped upon them. If you have a furry friend at home who is always curious and made a toy of your retainers, get new ones.

How To Get Replacement Retainers?

The process of getting a replacement retainer is simple.

  • Go see your doctor.
  • A 3D scan of your teeth will be taken.
  • This scan is used to create a model of your teeth.
  • They create your replacement retainers from this model. It may be created in an in-house lab or done by an outside lab.
  • Go to the orthodontist’s office and check if they fit your teeth flawlessly.

This is it. This process is the same in almost all the offices. Some offices might give you a plastic model of your teeth or keep a store of the 3D scan. So, you can just ring them up, and they will create your retainers. It saves your visit to the doctor frequently.

How Much Does Replacement Retainers Cost?

It depends on the type of retainers you wear. There are several types of retainers available in the market. They are clear retainers, Hawley retainers, fixed retainers. Each of them has a different life as well. Your Orthodontist will suggest what is best as well as economical for you. The price of retainers ranges between $250 and $1200.

What Are The Different Types Of Retainers?

Following are the different types of retainers

  • Permanent Retainers

These retainers are simple and permanent and cannot be removed. They last for as long as you need to wear retainers.

  • Hawley Retainers

They are made of plastic or acrylic with metal wire and are very comfortable and adjustable. They are removable and last for approx. 1-20 years.

  • Clear Plastic Retainers

They are also non-removable and invisible as well. They are worn over teeth and are made of plastic. They need replacement every 6-12 months.

Is It Alright To Get Replacement Retainers From A New Orthodontist?

It is a practical situation where you may not have access to your old orthodontist, maybe because you got a job in another city or your family moved to another state. You can search for a trusted orthodontist in your new neighborhood and get your replacement retainers in such cases. Do share your history of treatment, though.

Final Words

Retainers are expensive. And if you have clear retainers, you have to incur the cost every 6-12 months. Thus, it is essential to take care of your retainers. Do change them after the expiry of time, clean them, protect them, and keep them safe.

Published by Dr. Daniel Bronsky

Dr. Daniel is an orthodontist at Invis London.

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