What To Do If Your Retainer Breaks

Are you worried about breaking your retainer? Even worse, did you just recently break or lose your retainer? Read along to find out what to do if your retainer breaks.

There are two types of retainers available after you complete your teeth straightening treatment: fixed and removable retainers. Over time, improper care and accidents can cause your removable retainer to crack, or your fixed retainer to come loose from your teeth. If this happens, our orthodontist in Melbourne, FL wants you to be prepared.

The Importance of Wearing Your Retainers

It’s important to wear your retainers consistently after you complete your teeth straightening treatment. Once your teeth are correctly aligned, it takes time for your mouth to adjust to the new positions. After your braces are taken off or your clear aligner treatment is complete, you’ll have to make sure to not neglect your retainers. If you have a fixed retainer, you may have to watch what you eat in order to prevent it from coming loose from your teeth. It could be possible that after some time you might want to have your retainers tightened or reshaped after some time. If you have a removable retainer, you can remove it while you eat.

Steps to Take if You Accidentally Break Your Retainer

If you accidentally break your removable retainer or your permanent retainer breaks free of your teeth, there are steps you will have to take in order to ensure your teeth do not start shifting back to their old positions.

1. Call Our Orthodontic Office

Once you realize you’ve broken or cracked your retainer, it’s imperative that you contact our orthodontic office as soon as possible; especially if you’ve just recently completed your teeth straightening treatment. Failure to wear your retainer for the appropriate amount of time can cause your teeth to start shifting. If they shift too far out of their new locations, you may need additional teeth straightening with either braces or clear aligners to fix the changes.

2. Examine Your Removable Retainer

Depending on how badly your removable retainer is cracked, you may still be able to wear it in a limited fashion. If the retainer is deeply cracked or split in half, you won’t be able to wear it and will have to wait until your new retainer is manufactured.

3. Have a Family Member Examine Your Permanent Retainer

If you think your permanent retainer has come loose, have a family member examine it with a flashlight. Permanent retainers are bonded to the backs of your teeth in order to prevent movement. If you eat a hard piece of food or candy, it can cause the bond to weaken or completely fail. If the family member determines that the retainer is loose, you’ll need to eat soft foods to prevent further damage until you can see your orthodontist. They will then have the retainer rebonded to the backs of your teeth. If your retainer has caused any cuts in your mouth or sore spots, you can rinse with warm salt water. An antiseptic mouthwash also helps ease the pain and heal the area.

4. Consider a Removable Retainer if Your Permanent Retainer Keeps Breaking

Permanent retainers are hidden behind your teeth, and they help keep the teeth in place for years after the original teeth straightening procedure. However, if your permanent retainer keeps coming loose or separating from your teeth, you may want to switch to a removable retainer. Having a removable retainer means you can take it out whenever you want and usually you just need to wear it while you sleep.   Maintenance of the removable retainer is pretty easy. Just remember to always put it in its case when you are not wearing it and remember to clean it often with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Soaking it in pure white distilled vinegar is great to keep tartar from building up, and it can be done frequently to limit the amount of brushing that needs to be done.

Choosing Between a Permanent and Removable Retainer

If you are not sure if you need a permanent or removable retainer, our orthodontist in Melbourne can help you determine which would be best for you. It is a good idea to wear your retainers at night forever, to reduce your risk of teeth shifting or moving. In general, we do not recommend permanent retainers for individuals due to hygiene difficulties, except for very specific instances. Also, if you are worried about breaking your permanent retainer, a removable retainer may be best.

To learn more about retainers or to schedule an appointment for braces or clear aligners, contact us at 321-254-5232.