Most people understand the importance of regular medical screenings to prevent various illnesses, but many do not realize the relationship between oral health and general health. Routine dental care is an essential preventative measure necessary to ensure good health.Gingivitis and periodontal disease can cause infections that lead to tooth loss, jawbone loss, bite changes, and…
Orthodontics: What to Do if Your Retainer Breaks
A retainer serves the important role of preserving the teeth and jaw’s alignment after orthodontics. The retainer device can be removable or fixed. Accidents or improper maintenance can cause the retainer to break or loosen from the teeth. When this occurs, patients need to know what to do. Replacing a removable broken retainer is somewhat simple. A broken fixed retainer needs to be removed by the dentist.
If the retainer breaks
Patients need to wear the retainers consistently after completing the orthodontics process. When the teeth are aligned, it takes some time for them to get used to the new positions. The retainer helps prevent the teeth from moving back to their previous positions. If the device breaks accidentally or comes off the teeth, the following are steps to take:
Reach out to the dental office
Patients need to contact the dental office as soon as possible once they discover their retainer is broken or cracked, especially if the teeth straightening treatment only just recently ended. The teeth will start to move if the retainer is not worn for the minimum amount of time. If the teeth shift too far, additional orthodontic treatment will be required to reverse the changes.
Check the retainer
If the damage to the retainer is not so serious, it might still be possible to manage it. However, if the crack is deep or the retainer splits into two, wearing it is impossible, and patients will need to wait until the new retainer is ready.
A close friend or family can check a fixed retainer with a flashlight. Fixed retainers are bonded to the back of the teeth to limit movement. Eating hard foods or candies can weaken the bond and loosen the retainer. If the person ascertains the retainer has lost its hold, patients need to stick with soft foods to avoid additional damages until a trip to the dentist is possible. The dental professional might be able to reattach the retainer.
Switch to a removable retainer if the fixed ones keep breaking
If a fixed retainer keeps coming loose, patients can consider switching to a removable retainer. Removable retainers can be taken out at will and usually only need to be worn while sleeping. It is also easier to maintain them—the only cause to store them in the carrying case when not in use and cleaning them regularly.
When it comes to choosing between a permanent or removable retainer, the dentist can help you choose the best option based on your needs. It is necessary to wear the retainers as directed to prevent the teeth from shifting. Typically, unless in special cases, the dentist may not recommend fixed retainers due to oral hygiene and food limitations. Also, when there are concerns about breaking the permanent retainer, a removable retainer might be preferable.
If the retainer breaks, the point is this: book an appointment with the dentist immediately to have it checked. The dental professional will work on repairing or replacing it to keep your teeth aligned.
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