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Your retainer is the last step in the long process of straightening your teeth. Your braces have done the tough job of moving your teeth and jaw ligaments into their new positions, and it is the job of your retainer to make sure that they stay there. You should follow your orthodontist’s instructions for wearing and caring for your retainer. But certain foods might damage your retainer, or a blow to the face or mouth may cause it to break as well.

If you wear a fixed retainer, you may not even realize that it is broken until your teeth start to drift back into their original positions. Only your orthodontist can remove your fixed retainer and replace it. You should be able to readily see if a removable retainer is damaged, but someone else will have to inspect your fixed retainer.

If your retainer has been broken, you should let your orthodontist know right away. In the meantime, you can wear a mouthguard when you sleep to keep your teeth from moving. Hard or tough foods can cause your teeth to shift, so you should avoid them until you can have your retainer replaced. If you have any sore areas in your mouth, you can try rinsing your mouth with a salt and water solution. Removing your retainer if possible for sports or recreation or wearing a mouthguard; taking it out for meals and snacks, keeping your retainer clean, and making sure that you place it in its case when you aren’t wearing it will help keep it in good condition.

If you think that braces may be in your future, our orthodontist, Dr. Paul Labbe will be happy to meet you. If you live in the Laredo, Texas, area and would like to make an appointment at Menta Dentistry you can call 956-242-0223 today.