Say Cheese! The key to smiling confidently is well-maintained straight teeth. This is why it’s not uncommon for people to get braces as soon as they can.

Wearing retainers is a must to get your teeth to maintain their corrected position. Yet, some circumstances lead to broken retainers. Here are some important things to know when you have a broken retainer.

Signs You that You Need Retainer Maintenance

After orthodontic treatment, your teeth may shift and move back to their original position. This is why wearing a retainer post-treatment is important. A retainer helps straighten your teeth by keeping them in position.

Often, you might not be aware that you need retainer maintenance or have retainer issues. You only realize it when you notice your teeth are going back to their crooked position. A retainer may break because of hard foods, mouth injury, or wear and tear.

Here are 3 signs that tell you when you need a retainer repair or new retainer.

broken retainer

The Retainer Feels Loose

Retainers will wear down as time pass, and this results in the retainer widening. When it feels like your retainer is loose around your teeth, you may need to get a new retainer.

If you fail to replace the retainer, your teeth will begin to go back to their crooked position. This may lead to re-brace, which in turn can cost you more money.

Retainer Doesn’t Fit

When you wash your retainer with boiling water or dishwasher, it may lead to the retainer losing its shape. If you see or feel that the shape of the retainer has changed, talk to your orthodontist. When your retainer no longer fits, consider getting a retainer repair or new retainer.

If you don’t wear your retainer often not, it may hurt when you wear it again. This is not a sign of a broken retainer. So, if you know that it’s been a while since you’ve worn your retainer, don’t panic.

Retainer Has Small Cracks

Retainers can be plastics, wire, or a combination of both. If you’re wearing a plastic retainer, check to see if there are any cracks. If there are, you might need to get a new retainer.

If you fail to replace the retainer, the cracks may continue to grow bigger. This will result in the retainer losing its strength to keep your teeth in place. Consequently, you will need to re-brace your teeth when it goes back to its original position.

What to Do with Broken Retainer?

Assessing for cracks and loose fits of a retainer is only one phase. Actions necessary vary from case to case. Consider the following 2 steps when you have a broken retainer:

Step 1: Assess the Extent of the Damage

As we’ve mentioned, retainer maintenance is on a case-to-case basis. There are times when you can still wear cracked retainers. If the crack didn’t split the retainer tray, then you can still wear it.

Often, an aligner can still hold your teeth in position even if it has a small crack. If the cracked retainer split, you should stop wearing it. Not only will you expose your gums to possible injuries, but it’s also useless as it can no longer hold your teeth in position.

You must leave broken retainer repair to experts. Don’t attempt to fix crack with glue as it has toxic chemicals that may endanger your mouth.

Step 2: Call for an Orthodontists

After accessing the extent of damage in your retainer, schedule a check-up. Your orthodontist will examine your retainer and conclude a solution.

You can choose from either switching retainers or ordering a new one depending on the timeframe your retainer has left. If the broken retainer has only three or fewer days left, then you will likely switch to the next retainer you’re scheduled to take.

If you have more days left to wear the retainer, you’ll likely need a replacement. When one attempts to use the next tray 4 days or earlier, it can lead to tooth complications like root loss. Usually, the replacement takes 2 weeks.

How Do You Prevent Dental Retainers from Breaking?

A broken retainer hurdles the process of straightening your teeth. It also results in extra costs and effort on your part. Thus, it’s best to avoid breaking your retainer.

Here are 4 tips to consider to prevent your retainer from breaking.

Maintain Oral Hygiene

If you don’t clean your retainer often, bacteria, tartar, and plaque will build upon the retainer. This may cause the retainer to taste funny or smell. The retainer can also collect bacteria like Streptococcus, which can cause illness.

Follow Proper Method of Removing Retainer

When you remove your retainer, you should follow the recommended way of removing it. If not, you may strain the retainer and cause it to break.

Remember to use one finger on both sides when removing your retainer. This will help prevent the retainer from flexing and twisting while you remove the retainer.

Support During Cleaning

If you don’t hold and support your retainer while you clean it, you might stress the retainer. This may lead to a crack.

Hold the retainer on a towel or on your hand to ensure that you apply even pressure to it as you brush the retainer. This will prevent your retainer from flexing too much.

Follow Proper Cleaning Procedures

When cleaning your retainer, consider the following:

  • Don’t use alcohol-based mouthwash when cleaning the retainer
  • Never store in a napkin
  • Rinse under lukewarm water only
  • Don’t use water that is too hot or too cold when cleaning
  • Use soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Brush in a small and circular motion
  • Soak in a denture when there is calcium build-up
  • Store your retainers

Improper cleaning methods can lead your retainers to break and split. Take note of these tips when cleaning your retainer.

Get Oral Service from Avaha Orthodontics Now!

Are you from Dallas, Arlington, or any adjacent Fort Worth Metroplex cities? Are you looking for an orthodontist who can deliver caring and customized orthodontic treatment?

Avaha Orthodontics is here at your service! May it be bracing or a broken retainer, contact us today and let us know how we can help.