If you have lost or broken a removable retainer – don’t panic. Despite your best efforts, you are only human and sometimes the inevitable happens, whether it’s a lost retainer or misplaced car keys. The important thing to do is to take steps to replace your retainer so your teeth and mouth sustain all the hard work achieved while wearing braces or Invisalign. You should call your orthodontist to be fitted with a new retainer as soon as possible. If you have a fixed retainer that is broken, the issue will be a little more complicated and a visit to the orthodontist is essential to correct the problem.
What is a Retainer?
The retainer is a device that helps make sure that your teeth don’t move after you’ve finished your orthodontic treatment. Without retainers, your teeth will slowly move to back to their old, unwanted positions. So here is what to do if you lose your removable retainers or damage fixed retainers:
- Make an appointment with your orthodontist right away. Although your teeth will not immediately move back into their pre-treatment position, it is important to contact your orthodontist either to have a new impression done for your retainer or if your orthodontist has kept your retainer molds, have a new one made from them.
- Pop your new removable retainers in your mouth to keep them safe. You will new retainers will help realign any teeth that have started to move by gently squeezing them back in line. Make sure to store your retainer in a safe place where you will remind yourself to wear them.
- Store your removable retainers in a protective case. Your removable retainers will be less prone to being damaged or lost if you keep them in a protective case when not in use. It is not recommended that you wrap retainers in tissue when you are not wearing them since they may end up in the garbage bin by accident.
- If you have broken a fixed retainer, make an appointment with your orthodontist to have it fixed or replaced. Most individuals have both fixed and removable retainers. Fixed retainers consist of a thin wire which is permanently fixed to the back of your teeth to help keep them in place. The fixed retainers provide extra protection so your teeth will not move back to their pre-treatment position. The fixed retainer is usually only fitted to the front six teeth, so it’s important to use a removable retainer as well to keep your teeth from moving back to where they started.
If you are having issues with a fixed retainer or lost your removable retainer contact us right away. Our expert Charleston County orthodontist and highly trained staff at Reese Orthodontics are eager to join you on the journey to a healthier and happier smile.