How to fix a broken retainer: A comprehensive note


How to fix a broken retainer?

Retainers are recognizable to everyone who has had braces. Retainers prevent teeth from slipping back to their original positions after orthodontic treatment; therefore, neglecting to wear them can ruin your results. What happens if your retainer breaks? Fix cracked retainers?

If you desire perfect tooth alignment, don’t panic; fix the problem right away.

How do I fix the retainer?

If you reach for your retainer and find it cracked or damaged, call a dentist. Don’t Google “retainer repair.” The sooner you notify your orthodontist that you may need a new retainer, the less likely it is that your teeth will shift due to lack of use.

How to Determine Retainer Damage?

You can wait to see your orthodontist. To see if your retainer is still working, check its damage. If your damaged retainer has a little crack but fits over your teeth, use it until you can see your orthodontist. Improper cleaning can destroy plastic or Essix retainers.

If this sounds like your retainer, research how to clean it. If your detachable retainer has more significant damage and doesn’t fit well, it’s best to wait until you obtain a new one before trying to put it on. Wearing a retainer that doesn’t fit properly won’t help your teeth and could hurt.

Remove the broken retainer

Most dental insurance doesn’t cover new retainers, although they’re cheaper than orthodontic treatment. Your teeth will drift back to their pre-orthodontic state if you don’t fix or replace your retainer. If so, you may require braces or invisible aligners again and pay for them.

How do I replace a Cracked Retainer?

As said, the best thing you can do is get the retainer replaced; however, if your detachable retainer is fractured, you may be able to wear it if the damage is minor. If the retainer is damaged but not broken, you can wear it before seeing an orthodontist to prevent teeth from shifting. Your orthodontist may be able to repair a cracked retainer with mild to severe damage, but a replacement may be needed.

How do I fix a plastic brace that has broken?

First, don’t fix a plastic retainer yourself.

Do not glue your retainer back together if it is broken.

How do I fix a fractured plastic retainer? If you try to fix it yourself, you may damage the retainer or your teeth.

Plastic retainers should not be glued with home adhesives.

Your orthodontist should replace any broken plastic retainers just like you would lose ones.

How do I fix a broken Invisalign retainer?

Invisalign retainers should be repaired like any other plastic retainer.

Do not fix your cracked Invisalign retainer. As mentioned, you may accidentally harm your retainer or teeth. In this scenario, your orthodontist should be consulted for advice on how to fix a clear plastic retainer. Internet searches may yield inaccurate or misleading results.

Damaged Invisalign retainers may affect your therapy. Aligner trays are changed every two weeks. Thus, your reaction may depend on when the retainer broke in your treatment schedule.

You may be able to use the old retainer if it breaks early in the two-week therapy phase. If it breaks later in treatment, you may be able to switch retainers without fixing or replacing them. If you’re unsure how to proceed, Google “the best orthodontist near me” to find the best Invisalign professional in your area. They can tell you if you need to come in to get your retainer replaced or fixed. After having a new or fixed retainer, you should be able to continue treatment.

Call your dentist if you wear permanent, active, or other retainers instead of plastic ones. 

What not to do with a broken retainer?

If your cracked retainer is broken or doesn’t fit properly, don’t wear it. Your retainer will not work properly if its fit or stiffness is affected.

Even though online tutorials say to glue your retainer on, don’t. Retainers should not use superglue or other household glues. These adhesives aren’t medical-grade or suited for your mouth, so their ingredients could injure you. It’s essential to avoid toxins that could impair your dental health and overall wellness.

Finally, keep your fractured retainer. Your orthodontist may repair the retainer if the damage is minor. Fixing a broken retainer may cost less than buying a new one. Sporting Smiles offers $135 replacement retainers. This affordable American brand makes high-quality retainers. 

What If My Permanent Retainer Breaks?

If your permanent retainer breaks, contact your orthodontist immediately and make an appointment to get it fixed.

Permanent retainers are attached to your teeth; therefore, damage to them is more significant than damage to removable plastic ones. Permanent retainers are metal wires bonded to your teeth after orthodontic treatment. Metal retainers are riskier than plastic ones. Seek medical attention if your permanent retainer breaks and causes discomfort or swelling from metal bits cutting into your mouth or gums.

Damaged retainers can jeopardize your orthodontic therapy, so fix them right away. If your retainer breaks, contact your orthodontist or dental clinic immediately. They can then advise you on what to do and whether you need to come in to get your retainer fixed or replaced. As long as it isn’t entirely fractured, you can use a removable retainer. However, a broken plastic retainer or damaged permanent retainer demands immediate attention from your orthodontist.

Finally, if you’re wondering how to replace a cracked clear retainer at home, don’t. Doing so may harm your retainer or cause your teeth to shift.


Repairing a shattered retainer is straightforward if it works afterward. Since most dental appliances are custom-fitted, the dentist must examine for breaks if a retainer doesn’t fit or work.

If your retainer is damaged, act swiftly to continue orthodontic treatment. If your retainer does not function at home, consult a professional. Depending on the damage, dentists can repair or replace retainers. Finally, make a spare set of retainers so you can continue therapy if your existing ones break.

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How can I tell if my retainer is damaged?

Incorrect fit or function can damage your retainer. A specialist should assess its repair or replacement options.

How should I handle a broken retainer?

If your retainer is damaged, you should have it evaluated by a professional as soon as possible to continue treatment and prevent teeth from shifting, unless you want to try the DIY method. Your dentist or orthodontist will analyze the damage and recommend a treatment plan.

Do you need extra retainers?

Having a backup set of retainers is a smart idea. Thus, your treatment and tooth alignment will continue.

Can I Wear My Cracked Retainer?

Retainers straighten teeth. For tooth pressure, a retainer must be flawless. If the retainer cracks or breaks in half, you can’t use it. Thus, a damaged retainer is useless. Waiting for your new retainer is preferable.