My permanent retainer broke (again!) Is it worth replacing?

If you have finished with your orthodontic treatment and are wearing retainers (or will be soon), this is a special place to connect with others in your (enviable) situation. Ask a question or make a comment about life post-braces.

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My permanent retainer broke (again!) Is it worth replacing?

#1 Post by Rissaroo1234 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:12 am

Today my top wire retainer, spanning my top front 4 teeth, broke. This is the 4th time my permanent retainers have broken since I got my braces off about 5 years ago. My top one has now been broken 3 times and my bottom retainer (front 6 bottom teeth) has broken once. I'm sick of it! They keep breaking and I can't afford to keep getting new ones without dental inserence. I've got college to go to and pay for! So now I have a delemia. Should I get the top one replaced, or just get the whole thing removed?

Okay, first let me give you some background information. To start, I HATE removable retainers! I had them for a bit when I first got my braces off and they didn't even last a month. They're gross and uncomfortable and I could never fall asleep while wearing them. I have Aspberger's Syndrome, so I'm super sensitive to things like that. I hate brushing my teeth, it's a sensory thing, and its a big chore for me to force myself to brush even every other day, if at all. Half the time I just forget to do it. I know thats not good but Ive just always found it so difficult to keep on top of that. I try to do it at least once a day but it's such a tedious chore for me. And flossing? Blah! Hate it! Drives me nuts! I'm lucky if I can manage to force myself to do it once a month.

Due to all this sensory stuff, having braces was HORRIBLE. Every adjustment was agony. So when I finally got those torture devises off I was so happy! Untill I found out that the clear plastic retainers were terrible too and I had to get more wires! And then every time one broke, having it removed and a new one put in was a nightmare! There I am, at ages 14 thru 17, crying my eyes out in the orthodontic's chair because the friction from the tool used to grind the old glue off my teeth created heat that burned my gums, each and every time. And I hate the orthodontists. They were always so mean and insensitive to me. They didn't care how much pain they were putting me through, as long as they could find ways to suck every penny out of yours and your parents pockets. So after all those ordeals, I don't trust in dentists or orthodontists anymore. So overall yah, it sucks big time!

But on the other hand... I'm SO scared that my teeth will move back to crooked! I don't want that to happen and have braces again! That's what happened to my mom, and I'm afraid my teeth will act the same way. But fimsy wires seem to be the only choice, because for me removable retainers are NOT an option, I'd never be able to force myself to use them! But replacing them every time they snap cost so much money... But so does another set of braces... Both are miserable and painful...

So I dont know what to do! Should I have it fixed, or removed? How much might my teeth move? I mean, would it really be that bad if they only moved a little? But how do I know how much they'll move?

Gaahh I'm at a lost and can't deside, please help me!

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Re: My permanent retainer broke (again!) Is it worth replaci

#2 Post by BellaBraces » Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:27 am

If your wisdom teeth have not come in yet you are imo at high risk of the teeth moving, possibly quite a bit, when they do come in.

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Re: My permanent retainer broke (again!) Is it worth replaci

#3 Post by Rissaroo1234 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:11 pm

Actually, I was going to mention this and I forgot. My wisdom teeth are still under the gums, but x-rays show that they are coming in crooked. I plan on having all 4 removed in January, because that's the soonest that my mom can add me to her work's dential insurence plan. But even when I get under that it doesn't cover orthodontics.

So do you think my teeth would move between the time of taking out my wire retainer and removing my wisdom teeth? Maybe I can get the wisdom teeth out earlier. If I get them out in say, the next month or 2, could I just get rid of the retainer now altogether?

And even after I get the wisdoms out, would it be possible for my teeth to go out of place still? Or would they probably stay put?

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Re: My permanent retainer broke (again!) Is it worth replaci

#4 Post by hazybubbles » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:31 am

You need some sort of retainer for life. Your teeth WILL move without one. Wisdom teeth are not the only reason why they will move, so you need to decide what sort of retainer will cause you the least distress.

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Re: My permanent retainer broke (again!) Is it worth replaci

#5 Post by Rissaroo1234 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:03 pm

But they all cause distress it seems =(

Are there other kinds of permanent retainers other then the flimsy little wires? For example, my mom's top permanent retainer isn't a wire, but its like a wider bar glued flat agents the back of her teeth, with some round shapes at the end. It kind of looks like a little barbell. This kind seems to be way more solid and stronger, she's had it in for over at least 25 years now. Do you know what that style of retainer called? I'm been searching the web high and low but I can find what that particular type. I did find a pic of the kind I'm talking about, but I don't think I'm suppose to post links or pics here, since I'm a new member. Otherwise I would. Anyways, do you know what I'm describing and what it's called? Because that's the kind I want to ask for if I have to keep a retainer.

Having to deal with a removable retainer for the rest of my life, through college, work, marriage, kids, retirement... That is just way too depressing to me. But the wires always break! There's gotta be some kind of middle ground solution...

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Re: My permanent retainer broke (again!) Is it worth replaci

#6 Post by margarets » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:21 am

I find it odd that your permanent retainers break so easily. I would think they come with some sort of warranty, and should be replaced for free within 12 months.

What does your ortho say? Is there a heavier wire that can be used?

I know you don't want to hear this, but you will need some kind of retainer for the rest of your life if you want to keep your teeth in place. It's inconvenient, but it's not that bad. Trust me, adult life with throw WAY bigger challenges at you than remembering to pop in your retainer every night.

And you really should floss every day, to keep those chompers in good shape, AND to keep your gums healthy. Gum disease is huge hassle that you really don't need.

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Re: My permanent retainer broke (again!) Is it worth replaci

#7 Post by starbobby » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:07 am

I didn;t think permanent retainers break so easily!!!

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Re: My permanent retainer broke (again!) Is it worth replaci

#8 Post by BraceFace2o1o » Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:44 pm

I know the type of retainers your mum has its just I don't know if they have a specific name. I wanted to know too a few weeks a go but never got round to asking on the forum. It's the type where the wire is only glued to the last teeth, so if your wire goes from canine to canine then the glue is only on the canines, which then allows you to thread floss under your wire once to floss the front teeth rather than having to thread it between each individual tooth.

But yeah you will need some sort of retainer to keep those teeth in place. I was talking to my Orthos assistant and receptionist today and she said children's teeth are more likely to move as they will still be growing when the braces are removed. IMO everyone, adult, teen or child should wear some kind of retainer to stop the teeth from shifting.
Braces: Metal fixed upper and lower
Estimated treatment time: 18-24 months
Braces Removed: August 2013 (after 33 months in braces)
Retainers: Upper & lower essix and lower bonded
My Story / Before & After photos


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Re: My permanent retainer broke (again!) Is it worth replaci

#9 Post by sweetcynic » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:27 am

Was the removable retainer you wore a Hawley(acrylic tray with the wire in front) or Essix (the invisalign type tray)? If you only tried one, it might be worth trying the other, especially as you would only need to wear it at night at this point. You can even get the Essix kind without an ortho for $90 if you do the impressions yourself and you order it on Amazon. Good luck!

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Re: My permanent retainer broke (again!) Is it worth replaci

#10 Post by jesstoday » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:30 pm

Sorry to revive a dead thread but I am in the exact same position as the OP and I don't know what to do.

I've had my bottom permanent retainer break 3 times & my top twice (each time costing me $250! NONE is covered by insurance). Last time my orthodontist convinced me into a removable retainer for the top which I now have and can live with I guess. But my bottom, which was fixed only a few months ago, broke AGAIN tonight. I don't have any more money to give my orthodontist. It cost me over $10,000 out of pocket so far for my braces and I think that should include at least a bit of a warrenty on the retainers.

Are there orthos that will guarantee their work for a certain amount of time? I don't mind paying $200-400 if I don't have to worry about paying for a year or more but I'm worried to switch to a different person after I've done my whole treatment with my current doctor.

Can a regular dentist fix my perm retainer or throw some glue on there that will actually HOLD?

I'm getting to the point where I'm MAD. Is my orthodontist so bad at this that she can't even make something that lasts 6 months? I can't pay her again and already I've paid her enough.

Also, my retainer is just a twisted wire instead of the BAR (mentioned earlier in this post) that I thought I was getting and what I wanted. If I call around to orthodontists will I find one who can put an actual PERMANENT retainer in? I don't want to do this dance forever.

Thanks for any help or replies!

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Re: My permanent retainer broke (again!) Is it worth replacing?

#11 Post by RGS » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:28 pm

For what it is worth, I had my braces off 31 years ago and the "barbell" style permanent retainer on my lower teeth just came undone on one side. This is the first time I have had any trouble with it. Now that is some good mileage! I am still trying to decide whether to have it out or what exactly to do. I am 46 with no wisdom teeth and even less wisdom.

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