Quick Fixes for a Broken Plastic Retainer: DIY Solutions That Work
Oral Health Blog

Quick Fixes for a Broken Plastic Retainer: DIY Solutions That Work


If your retainer seems broken, inadequate cleaning or the use of cleaning ingredients damaging retainers may be the cause. To prevent this, maintain a thorough cleaning routine to avoid bacterial buildup. Consider using a persulfate-free retainer that can enhance both cleanliness and structural durability, reducing the risk of breakage and ensuring the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment.

How to fix a broken retainer?

A broken plastic retainer can be a real setback in your orthodontic journey. However, before you rush to the orthodontist or consider expensive replacements, there are often ways to fix minor issues with your retainer at home. In this article, we'll explore simple steps to help you repair your broken plastic retainer.

1. Gather Your Supplies

Tools you may need:

  • A clean, soft cloth or towel
  • A small bowl of warm, soapy water
  • A spare toothbrush with soft bristles
  • Superglue or dental adhesive (if recommended by your orthodontist)

2. Inspect the Damage

Carefully examine your broken retainer to understand the extent of the damage. Is it a clean break, a crack, or a minor detachment? Understanding the problem will help you decide whether it's a fixable issue.

3. Clean the Retainer Thoroughly

Use warm, soapy water and a toothbrush to clean both pieces of the retainer. Ensure that there is no debris, residue, or saliva on the surfaces to be glued. Rinse it thoroughly afterward.

4. Realign the Broken Parts

If your retainer has a clean break or a crack, attempt to align the pieces as closely as possible. Ensure a snug fit without any gaps or misalignment.

5. Apply Superglue or Dental Adhesive (If Recommended)

Before using adhesive, check with your orthodontist if it's safe for your specific type of retainer. If approved, apply a minimal amount of adhesive to one side of the break or crack. Press the pieces together firmly but gently. Be cautious not to use excessive adhesive, as it can affect the retainer's fit.

6. Wipe Off Excess Adhesive

Use a clean cloth or tissue to wipe off any excess adhesive that may have squeezed out during the joining process. Be thorough, as excess adhesive can irritate your mouth.

7. Let It Set

Allow the adhesive to dry and set completely. This may take anywhere from a few hours to a day, depending on the type of adhesive used. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for drying times.

8. Check the Fit

Once the adhesive has set, carefully examine your retainer to ensure that it fits comfortably and securely in your mouth. It should feel just like it did before the break.

9. Consult Your Orthodontist

Even if you successfully repair your plastic retainer at home, it's essential to consult your orthodontist. They can verify that the repair is adequate and that the retainer continues to serve its intended purpose.

10. Prevention is Key

To avoid future breakage, follow these tips:

  • Handle your retainer with care.
  • Keep it in its case when not in use.
  • Avoid exposing it to high temperatures, such as hot water or direct sunlight.
  • Regularly clean and maintain your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist.


Repairing a broken plastic retainer can be a feasible DIY project, but it should be approached with caution and only if recommended by your orthodontist. Ensuring a proper fit and maintaining the retainer's functionality are paramount. Remember that any concerns or significant damage should be discussed with your orthodontic professional to prevent complications and ensure the long-term effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment.

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.