After you’ve put in all that time wearing braces, it’s absolutely essential that you wear retainers to keep your teeth straight. Generally you’ll wear them full time for a couple months, then wear them at night only for the rest of your life. The last thing you want to do is lose your retainers and have your teeth relapse. Here are some “been there, done that” tips to help you hang on to those oh-so-important pieces of plastic!
If it’s not in your face, it’s in your case
This is the motto of orthodontists everywhere for a reason! As soon as you remove your retainer, place it into its case. If your case gets lost or damaged, ask your orthodontist for a new one.
Have a dedicated place to keep your retainer
A medicine cabinet or nightstand drawer is a good place to keep your retainer in its case. If it has a home, it is less likely to get misplaced.
Never wrap it in a napkin
Retainers wrapped in napkins look like garbage to people who are cleaning up. If you wrap your retainer in a napkin in the cafeteria or a restaurant, be prepared to go dumpster diving!
Don’t put it in your pocket
It could get crushed! Or, you might forget and accidentally put it in the laundry.
Don’t leave it in the car
It’s hot in Arizona! The high temperatures inside the car may warp the retainer.
Keep away from pets
Dogs and cats LOVE retainers! They are crunchy and smell just like us. Determined pets can chew through cases. Make sure your pet can’t reach your retainer.
Consider purchasing retainer insurance through your orthodontist
At Peterson Family Orthodontics, we offer a retainer insurance program called Smile On Forever for our current active patients. It is $500 to join. This covers the cost of an extra upper and lower set of retainers as well as your 3D printed molds. If you ever lose a retainer, and you still have your molds and your teeth haven’t shifted, it is only $25 to have a new one made. This program helps cover the cost of retainers for the rest of your life. Usually each retainer costs $175, so you can definitely save some money long-term by purchasing retainer insurance.
Ensuring you always have retainers to wear is the only way to make sure your smile stays straight and beautiful. Keep careful track of your retainers, do your best not to damage them, and contact your orthodontist right away if anything goes wrong. Give the office a call if you ever have any questions about your retainer wear. Dr. Peterson wants all of his patients to enjoy lifelong beautiful smiles!