Important Reminders When You Break an Invisalign Retainer

Invisalign® retainers are commonly used to straighten teeth and brighten smiles. However, they can be easily misplaced or damaged since the aligners are thin and detachable. Should your retainer get lost or compromised, here are some steps you need to take: 

1. Examine the Damage                                                                                                 

Each incident is unique in its way. Aligners can sometimes still be usable despite their cracks. Examine the damage thoroughly and make a good judgment based on your assessment. 

  • When the Aligner Is Split

In cases where the aligner has been split so that even the slightest bending causes it to change the form, you should not wear the tray during treatment. Discontinue usage of an aligner that has been entirely divided into more than one component as soon as possible. When a retainer is worn in this state, the edges may be abrasive, which might scrape the mouth or gums. There should be no effort to repair the tray using any type of adhesive under any circumstances whatsoever.

  • When Its a Minor Crack

If the crack does not cause the tray to split, it is most likely safe to continue wearing the item. An aligner will, in many situations, still stay together rather well, even if it has a slight fracture in it. When inserting and removing the retainer, proceed with caution since these activities can aggravate a crack or tear in the tooth.

  • When a Retainer Is Partially Lost

A partially lost retainer is missing a small section or has a crack or two. If the missing area is less than one-third of the overall length of the retainer in question, you can still wear the retainer. The retainer should not be used if the lost portion is greater than one-third of the overall length.

  • When the Retainer Is Completely Lost

A completely lost retainer is missing its entire length. There are times when the retainer is lost, the patient’s teeth are still in the process of being straightened, and the new aligner is meant to be used in combination with the missing one. In these instances, it is essential to communicate to the dentist about the misplaced or damaged retainer before the next treatment appointment begins. You will need to discuss your options with the dentist and decide what is best for your specific situation.

2. Examine the Remaining Time

Depending on how much time is remaining on the damaged or missing aligner, you must take different courses of action.

  • Replace the Retainers

When dental retainers are lost or broken, it may be good to order more sets. Dentists are often aware of the patient’s current stage of treatment and can rearrange the aligner that is currently in use. In most cases, using the previous aligner until the new one arrives makes sense because it might take up to two weeks to receive a replacement tray.

  • Switch Retainers

If there are less than three days left on the retainer, you can propose to use the next planned appointment. As the new aligner will have a different shape to allow the teeth to continue to move, it may feel a little odd at first to wear. You should take caution not to press the tray onto the first one, as this may cause it to shatter as well.


Invisalign® retainers may need to be replaced if damaged or misplaced. Because the treatment’s efficacy is dependent on the aligners’ functionality, it’s critical to understand what to do if they’re lost or broken. Making the appropriate choices about how long to wear the trays, when to swap to the next set, and how often to reorder them depends on accurately diagnosing the damage and the time frame involved in dealing with it.

Ivy Rose DDS is the place to go if you’re looking for an Invisalign dentist. We provide the treatment as part of our comprehensive list of low-cost dental services in Mansfield, TX. Make an appointment with us now!