Did you know that approximately 4 million people in the US are wearing braces at any given time? That means that, at any given time, just as many people are likely wearing their retainers to bed each night. That’s great, as retainers are crucial in ensuring your teeth don’t move.

However, if you’re one of the many people who have a retainer after braces, then you know that they can be pretty easy to break. What do you do if you have a broken retainer? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! 

In this post, we’ll explain what to do if your retainer breaks and how to fix it.

Understand the Importance of Getting a New Retainer

First, it’s important to understand just how important it is to wear your retainer after you get braces. Oftentimes, after a period of time many people believe that they’re fine to stop wearing theirs so when their retainer breaks they don’t even bother getting a new one.

However, if your retainer breaks, it’s super important that you get a new one as soon as possible! Although it may seem like a nuisance, wearing your retainer as directed is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your new smile. 

Wearing your retainer as directed will help ensure that your teeth remain in their new position and don’t shift back to their original placement. 

Additionally, retainers help to prevent the formation of new wrinkles around the mouth, which can occur if your teeth are allowed to shift back out of alignment. 

So, be sure to follow your orthodontist’s directions for wearing your retainer and schedule an appointment to get a new one if you have a damaged retainer.

What to Do With Your Broken Retainer

Losing or breaking your retainer can be a frustrating and expensive experience. But don’t despair! There are a few things you can do to minimize the damage and get back to wearing your retainer as soon as possible.

If you lose your retainer, the first thing you should do is call your orthodontist. They may be able to send you a replacement or give you instructions on how to repair your existing retainer.

If your retainer breaks, try to find all the pieces. Once you have all the pieces, rinse them off and put them in a safe place. Then call your orthodontist right away. They may be able to give you instructions on how to fix the retainer yourself, or they may need to see you for an appointment. Either way, it’s important to act quickly to minimize further damage.

It’s important to note that in some cases, depending on your orthodontist and the orthodontic treatment plan you had, you might need to head in for a visit to get a new mold taken of your teeth.

Not all orthodontists keep molds of patients on file. Furthermore, if your treatment was years ago then your teeth might have shifted slightly. In that case, it’s best to get a new retainer regardless.

How to Get a New Retainer

So, what now? If you have a damaged retainer then you’ll absolutely need a new one.

The first step is to contact your orthodontist. They will be able to give you the necessary forms and instructions on how to get a new retainer. This might be as simple as them sending you a new one in the mail or the process might involve you heading in to get a new retainer made.

Ultimately, your orthodontist will be able to guide you on the next steps. Then, once they have made your new retainer, you’ll head into the office to pick it up or wait for them to ship it to your home.

Follow the instructions provided by your orthodontist to ensure that you get a new retainer that fits well and works correctly.

What do you do with your broken retainer in the meantime? While it’s likely they’ll take a new mold of your teeth, it’s best to keep your broken retainer with you just in case they need to reference anything such as the labial bow or the bite plate.

Caring for Your New Retainer

Your new retainer is here, yay! Now, how do you properly care for it so you don’t end up with a broken retainer?

The first thing to remember is that retainers are delicate, so you need to handle them with care. When you’re not wearing them, it’s important to store them in a safe place where they won’t get bent or broken. 

Many people prefer to keep their retainers in a hard case, but a soft cloth pouch will also do the job.

It’s also important to clean your retainer regularly. Plaque and bacteria can build up on the surface of the retainer just like they do on your teeth, so it’s important to give it a good brush at least once a day.

In addition, you should give your retainer a good soak in soap and water or retainer cleaner at least once a week. This will help to kill any bacteria that might be lurking on the surface of the retainer.

Caring for your retainer might seem like a hassle, but it’s really not that difficult. By following these simple tips, you can help to ensure that your retainer stays clean and lasts for many years.

Get Started With Orthodontics

Whether you’ve previously had braces and have questions about a broken retainer or are ready to get started with your orthodontic treatment plan, we’re here for you. Our team of specialized and experienced orthodontists love working with each patient to create the most personalized treatment plan to help you achieve the smile of your dreams.

Whether you want to visit a Louisville orthodontist or one of our other locations. Click here to get started.