People who wear retainers have heard from their orthodontists to take good care of them. Sometimes, however, accidents happen, and you find that your retainer has broken or cracked. Here's a how-to guide on what to do if you happen to break your retainer.
What's a Retainer For?
The most common use of retainers is to keep teeth in place after orthodontic treatment, such as braces. People can also wear retainers to correct minor tooth spacing issues. Retainers are usually made of acrylic or plastic with wires that are in front of your teeth.
If You Notice A Problem With Your Retainer
If you are concerned something is wrong with your retainer, you need to examine it. In general, a small chip in your retainer is not concerning because your retainer can still hold your teeth in place. However, if you notice a crack or a split in your retainer, that is a bigger cause for concern. You may be able to wear your retainer with a small crack in it for a while, but a larger crack is more concerning. Anytime your retainer splits or cracks completely, it will no longer be able to hold your teeth in place.
Once you notice something is wrong with your retainer, you'll want to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible. If your retainer has a small crack, it is probably not an emergency, but if your retainer is cracked completely, it is more serious. Only your orthodontist will be able to tell you for sure if you need a new retainer or not.
You can prevent problems with your retainer by practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding eating while you are wearing your retainer, and wearing protective mouthpieces if you play sports while wearing a retainer.
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