Signs it is Time to Replace Your Retainer | Best Orthodontist Palos Hills IL


When you take care of your braces or Invisalign® results correctly, you can have a beautiful straightened smile for life! It is common for orthodontic patients to need to wear retainers for the rest of their lives to ensure that their teeth do not shift out of position again after completing their treatment. A single retainer, however, will not last you that long. In order to keep your smile straight and healthy, here are the top four signs that it’s time to get a new one.

There are small cracks in your retainer.

Take a close look at your retainer the next time you wear it—do you see any small cracks or chips? Damaged retainers are one of the most obvious signs that they need to be replaced. It may seem like these cracks are small now, but they will only grow over time. It won’t be long before your retainer can’t keep your teeth in their ideal position.

Your retainer feels loose or uncomfortable.

Having a retainer that doesn’t fit well is another sign that it needs to be replaced. Your retainer will naturally wear down and lose its shape over time. It will also weaken faster if it is soaked in harsh cleaning chemicals or strong mouthwashes. It will not be able to hold your teeth in place effectively if it does not fit closely against your teeth. You may also lose the shape of your retainer if you grind your teeth at night or clean it with boiling water or in the dishwasher. A poorly fitting retainer will not only fail to keep your teeth straight, but could also cause harm to your jaws, teeth, or soft tissues. When it does not fit properly, it is best to have it replaced as soon as possible.

There is too much calcium buildup on your retainer.

Your retainer can begin to build up calcium, even if you practice good dental habits. The white-yellow material is also known as tartar, which is hardened plaque. The rough surface is porous enough to accumulate bacteria, which can cause oral health issues. In the same way that tartar builds up on your teeth, it can only be removed by a dentist or orthodontist. Replace your retainer if you notice calcium buildup on it.

The retainer smells bad.

Does your retainer smell like morning breath? It is most likely caused by an accumulation of oral bacteria. The mouth contains over 700 different types of bacteria, which easily accumulate during the night as you sleep. These particles will decay if you do not maintain proper oral hygiene, releasing foul-smelling gases and making your retainer stink. This is not only unpleasant, but it puts you at a higher risk of oral health issues like gum disease and cavities. Replace your retainer if it smells bad to keep your smile healthy and fresh!

In order to maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment, you must wear your retainer. By replacing your retainer every few years, you can keep your new, beautiful smile for life.

Our orthodontic office is proud to assist patients of all ages in achieving straighter, healthier smiles and maintaining them for life. From pediatric orthodontics to adult braces and everything in between, we are confident in our treatment. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465

Traditional Braces Remain a Reliable Choice | Orthodontist in Palos Hills IL


If you are seeking a time-tested orthodontic solution to straighten your teeth and improve your smile, you may want to consider traditional metal braces. In today’s world, braces are smaller, less noticeable, and more comfortable than ever before! You can achieve the smile you’ve always wanted with the help of our trusted orthodontic team.

Braces: What Are They and How Do They Work?

Traditional metal braces are the most affordable, durable, and effective method for straightening your teeth and improving your appearance. Metal brackets are attached to the front of your teeth, and flexible wires or archwires connect the brackets. It is common for braces to include rubber bands or metal ties that connect the brackets to the wire, creating more pressure to straighten your teeth.

With braces, you can align your teeth by applying just the right amount of pressure. Below the teeth, gums, and bones is a membrane that moves in response to pressure and gradually repositions itself. The bones under the teeth are also altered in shape, gradually shifting your teeth into the desired position. As your teeth move into place, bone and tissue grow in the space left behind, which, combined with the use of a retainer, helps preserve your new smile.

Traditional braces correct what conditions?

Almost any orthodontic concern can be corrected with traditional braces, including gapped, crowded, or severely misaligned teeth. Additionally, they can correct problems with the bite, including underbites, crossbites, open bites, and overbites. For complicated orthodontic cases, traditional braces are the best option due to their effectiveness and versatility.

What is the best way to keep your braces clean?

Keeping your mouth healthy is important for everyone, but especially for those who wear braces. Start your cleaning routine by rinsing your mouth to remove any loose food particles. Using a soft-bristled brush, angle it to remove any food that has accumulated on the top of your brackets and brush along your gum line. Be sure to brush your teeth from the bottom of your brackets upward and to brush each tooth, front and back. To prevent food particles from becoming trapped in your mouth, rinse your mouth after every meal or snack.

You should also floss regularly. You can use a floss threader or floss picks, whichever is easier for you. Feed your floss between your teeth and under your wires. You shouldn’t tug on the floss when it’s under a wire. If any loose food debris remains in your mouth, rinse it away with water. You may also benefit from using an irrigator to keep your mouth clean.

Get in touch with our friendly orthodontic team to learn more about straightening your teeth and perfecting your smile with traditional braces. We are dedicated to providing our valued patients with a lifetime of beautiful smiles. Make an appointment with our orthodontic office today.

Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills
Phone: (708) 930-5941
10059 S. Roberts Rd. Suite 2A
Palos Hills, IL 60465