Retainers: Is it Normal for Retainers to Change Their Shape?
If your teeth are crooked or misaligned, it is likely that your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist. Depending on how crooked your teeth are, your dentist will either recommended braces or a retainer. Braces are glued onto the teeth and are permanent until the orthodontist decides the treatment is complete. On the other hand, a retainer is removable. However, because a retainer can be removed, you need to be extra careful to ensure it keeps its shape. Read on for more information on how a retainer might change its shape.
Be Careful When Washing Your Retainer
Especially if your orthodontist has given you a plastic retainer, you need to be careful with washing. You should wash your retainer in cold water only. Washing your retainer in hot or boiling water will cause it to change shape. Like a mouth-guard, the hot water will make the plastic malleable; when the plastic changes shape it will cause your teeth to move out of place. This also means keeping your retainer out of the dishwasher.
It's not just hot water that you should be wary of. Keep your retainer away from any device that gives off excessive amounts of heat. For example, don't leave your retainer by a heater, furnace or open flame.
Check For Cracks in the Plastic
If you are prone to grinding your teeth, you should also keep a close eye on your retainer. Grinding your teeth while you wear your retainer can lead to cracks in the plastic. Cracks in the retainer will affect the retainer's ability to hold your teeth in place, so if you do see cracks, see your orthodontist so that you can get fitted with a new retainer as soon as possible.
You should also be careful with how you keep your retainer when you're not wearing it. If you are not wearing your retainer, be sure you keep it in its protective case. Leaving your retainer unprotected leaves it prone to knocks and bumps, which could result in cracks. In addition to this, leaving your retainer in your pocket unprotected will also increase the chance of cracks.
Listen To Your Orthodontist's Instructions
Listen to your orthodontist's instructions when you first get your retainer. For example, never use harsh chemicals like bleach on your retainer. You should also avoid eating with the device in, and drinking carbonated drinks or sugary juices with your retainer in. Also, be sure to take the time to clean your retainer by brushing it with your toothbrush. If anything feels strange to you, see your orthodontist; never try to make changes to the device yourself. Following your orthodontist’s instructions will ensure that your retainer lasts longer.
Wearing a retainer will help you get straight teeth and a great smile. However, because a retainer can be removed, you need to be extra careful to make sure it keeps its shape. By following the above advice, as well as the advice of your orthodontist, you can make sure that your retainer keeps its shape so that your teeth stay straight. If your retainer feels strange or too tight, see your orthodontist so that he can make the necessary changes.