Having a retainer replaced or repaired is no fun and is quite costly. The three most common ways retainers are lost or broken is:
- Wrapping it in a napkin and throwing it away
- Leaving it out and a dog eating it
- Not putting it in the case but putting it in your pocket and breaking it
If you have been given retainers to wear, the following tips can help you take care of and not lose it.
When you brush your teeth, it's a good time to brush your retainers too. Use warm (not hot) water and hold the retainer in the palm of your hand so that the wire or plastic does not bend.
Some patients think it is fun but don't flip your retainer with your tongue. It can be very tempting, but this habit usually ends up breaking the retainer or loosening the wires so that they don't fit and/or work properly
The safest place for your retainer is in your mouth! When you do take out your retainers, be sure to follow these tips:
Never wrap your retainers in a napkin, paper towel or tissue because they will more than likely get thrown away. In fact, I lost one this way.
Don't ever put your retainers in your pockets or loose in your purse. They are sure to get broken.
Last but not least, don't leave your retainers sitting around. Children are curious about them and dogs love to eat them up. My dog thoroughly enjoyed mine for dinner one time.
Taking care of your retainers doesn't have to be difficult and neither does wearing them. Remember, it's not forever and if you don't listen to your orthodontist, your teeth could shift back into their old positions.