Broken Retainer: What to Do Next?
Oral Health Blog

Broken Retainer: What to Do Next?

Breaking your retainer can be a worrisome situation, but don't panic. In this article, we'll guide you through the steps to take if you've broken your retainer. We'll explore the urgency of the situation, potential costs, and the options available to get your smile back on track.

How Urgent is a Broken Permanent Retainer?

  1. Assess the Damage: The first step is to assess the extent of the damage. Is it a minor issue, or has the retainer broken into several pieces? The severity of the damage will determine the urgency of the situation.

  2. Comfort and Fit: Consider whether the broken retainer is causing discomfort or no longer fits correctly. If it's causing pain or irritation, it's crucial to address the situation promptly.

  3. Consult Your Orthodontist: Whenever you experience issues with your retainer, it's advisable to consult your orthodontist. They can provide professional guidance based on your specific case.

How Much Does a Bonded Retainer Cost?

The cost of repairing or replacing a bonded retainer can vary depending on several factors:

  • Type of Damage: The extent of the damage to your retainer will influence the cost. Repairing minor issues may be less expensive than replacing a severely damaged retainer.

  • Insurance Coverage: Check with your dental insurance provider to see if the cost of repairing or replacing a bonded retainer is covered under your plan.

  • Location: The cost can also vary depending on your location and the orthodontic practice you visit.

  • Orthodontist's Recommendation: Your orthodontist will assess the situation and recommend the most appropriate course of action, which will impact the final cost.

Can I Glue My Retainer Back Together?

While it may be tempting to try a DIY fix by gluing your retainer back together, it's generally not recommended. Here's why:

  • Health and Safety: Using household adhesives can introduce harmful chemicals into your mouth, posing health risks.

  • Effectiveness: Gluing a retainer together is unlikely to restore its structural integrity and effectiveness fully.

  • Long-Term Consequences: DIY repairs may lead to further damage, compromising the retainer's ability to maintain your orthodontic results.

It's best to leave repairs to the professionals – consult your orthodontist for their expert advice.

How Much Does it Cost to Put a Permanent Retainer Back On?

If your permanent retainer has come loose or detached, the cost of reattachment will vary based on several factors:

  • Severity of Damage: If the retainer is minimally damaged and can be reattached easily, the cost may be lower. However, severe damage might require a replacement, which could be more expensive.

  • Orthodontist's Fees: Orthodontists' fees can vary, so it's a good idea to obtain quotes from different practices.

  • Geographical Location: The cost may vary depending on where you live, as the cost of living and operating an orthodontic practice can differ by region.

How Often Do You Need to Replace a Bonded Retainer?

The lifespan of a bonded retainer can vary, but they are generally designed to be long-lasting. However, over time, they may wear out, become less effective, or break due to various factors, including:

  • Normal Wear and Tear
  • Accidental Damage
  • Changes in Tooth Alignment

Your orthodontist will monitor the condition of your bonded retainer during follow-up appointments. If it shows signs of wear or damage, they will recommend whether it should be repaired or replaced.

Are you currently using or thinking about using retainer cleaning tablets? It's important to be aware that certain cleaner brands have the potential to cause toxic reactions.

It's crucial to be aware of harmful ingredients hiding in common cleaner brands. One such persulfate, which can pose SERIOUS health risks and is found in almost all leading retainer cleaners brands. Moreover, persulfate's health risks potentially impact respiratory health and skin sensitivities in your family, especially in teens and sensitive individuals. Learn more about the risk of persulfate HERE


The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the information provided in this article.