How Often Should You Replace Your Retainer?

Your braces may be off, but your orthodontia care continues. At Eastern Virginia Orthodontics, our Hampton Roads military orthodontist team protects your smile with retainers. There are many different styles, however, with varying lifespans. Explore today’s retainer options and when to replace them.


Traditional Retainers

Also known as Hawley retainers, this design consists of an acrylic or plastic palate with attached wire. Slip this retainer on 24 hours a day or wear only at night, depending on the directions from your Norfolk orthodontist. According to Healthline, this retainer can last up to 20 years.

Remarkably, Hawley retainers have a long lifespan because they’re removable. For example, take them out to eat your favorite foods. Unlike braces, retainers aren’t subjected to excessive wear, so they last for many years.


Clear Plastic Retainers

Clear plastic retainers, such as Invisalign, are polyurethane or plastic molds that fit directly onto the teeth. Similar to traditional retainers, plastic designs are removable for eating and drinking. Unlike Hawley retainers, these retainers are often replaced after only 12 months.

Because the plastic forms around the teeth, it’s subjected to a lot of wear. Talking, grinding the teeth and other actions break down the retainer. In addition, our Hampton Roads military orthodontist may need to replace the retainer because you require a new mold that puts new pressure on the teeth.


Keeping up With Adjustments

To prolong the life of your Hawley retainer, visit our Norfolk orthodontist for regular adjustments. Over time, the wire can bend out of position. With a quick appointment, our team can position the wire as needed for your smile’s protection. In addition, we can repair any issues that may have occurred since your last appointment. As a result, you can keep the retainer for a longer time.

If you have any questions about retainers or orthodontia care, call Eastern Virginia Orthodontics today!


Caring For the Retainer

One of the best ways to preserve your retainer is by cleaning it. Follow your orthodontist’s instructions on either brushing or soaking the retainer. Truthfully, every style has its own care instructions.

Remember to remove the retainer for every snack and meal. Food particles can create bacterial growth on the materials, which leads to overall decline.

Our Norfolk orthodontist team consists of three professionals to serve your needs. From adjustments to replacements, your retainer’s functionality is our priority. Call Eastern Virginia Orthodontics to book an appointment today!