Cracked Retainer: Can Your Orthodontist Save the Day?
Oral Health Blog

Cracked Retainer: Can Your Orthodontist Save the Day?


A cracked retainer can be a cause of concern, especially when you're diligently following your orthodontist's instructions to maintain your smile. In this article, we will explore whether an orthodontist can fix a cracked retainer and discuss the options available to restore your orthodontic appliance to its functional state.

1. Understanding Retainer Cracks

Before diving into solutions, it's crucial to understand the nature of retainer cracks. Retainers, whether removable or permanent, are usually made of plastic or acrylic for removable ones and wire for permanent ones. These materials, while durable, are not immune to damage, including cracking.

2. Can Orthodontists Fix a Cracked Retainer?

The answer is both yes and no, depending on the type of retainer and the extent of the damage:

  • Removable Retainers: Orthodontists often have more flexibility in addressing cracks in removable retainers. Small cracks may be repairable, while extensive damage may necessitate a replacement. Orthodontists have the expertise to assess the damage and recommend the appropriate solution.

  • Permanent Retainers: Cracks in permanent wire retainers are more challenging to fix. In most cases, orthodontists may opt to remove the damaged retainer and replace it with a new one. Attempting to repair a cracked wire could compromise its integrity and effectiveness.

3. Steps to Take When You Discover a Cracked Retainer

If you notice a crack in your retainer, here's what you should do:

  • Inspect the Damage: Examine your retainer closely to assess the size and location of the crack.

  • Contact Your Orthodontist: Reach out to your orthodontist immediately to report the issue. They will schedule an appointment to evaluate the damage and recommend the appropriate action.

  • Avoid DIY Repairs: Resist the temptation to fix the retainer yourself using adhesives or other materials. DIY repairs can lead to further damage or compromise the hygiene of your retainer.

4. Prevention Is Key

To minimize the risk of cracking your retainer, consider these preventive measures:

  • Handle with Care: Always handle your retainer gently. Avoid twisting or bending it, especially if it's a removable retainer.

  • Store Properly: When you're not wearing your retainer, keep it in its designated case to protect it from accidental damage.

  • Regular Checkups: Attend scheduled checkup appointments with your orthodontist. Regular inspections can help detect issues early.

  • Follow Care Instructions: Adhere to the care instructions provided by your orthodontist for cleaning and maintaining your retainer.


Orthodontists can address cracked retainers, but the course of action depends on the type and extent of the damage. If you suspect your retainer is cracked, don't hesitate to contact your orthodontist for a professional evaluation. Remember that prevention is key to minimizing the risk of damage, so handle your retainer with care and follow your orthodontist's guidance for maintenance.

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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.