Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. You really don’t want to lose a retainer. As you undoubtedly know, retainers are not inexpensive. They’re specially crafted orthodontic devices created specifically for your mouth – in other words, your retainer is completely unique. The price of a thing is heavily dependent on how easily it can be mass manufactured – retainers can’t be.
The reason that you have to wear a retainer after having had braces is simple – your teeth will want to move back into their former positions once your braces are off. Retainers keep your teeth in line, and after a few months (or in some cases, years), they’ll be fixed to the position your braces put them in. When you lose your retainer, you need to replace it, or all the work that those braces did could be for nothing.
Should you lose your retainer, get in contact with your orthodontist immediately. They’ll schedule an appointment with you to replace it.
With that dire news out of the way, let’s focus on the positive. We can’t control a lost retainer, but we can reduce the chances that you’ll lose a retainer in the future. There are a few ways of going about this:
First, be sure to bring your retainer case with you everywhere you go, especially if you’re not removing your retainer through most of the day. You don’t want to know how many retainers end up in the garbage after being wrapped in a napkin when taken out of the mouth for lunch. Having a hard time remembering your case? Set an alarm on your phone that rings before you leave your house and before lunch hour that says “Retainer case” – automating reminders can help on days where your mind is wandering.
The American Dental Association has a page that provides a number of other tips for keeping track of your retainer. They include keeping your retainer case in a big, hard to miss bag at all times, and leaving yourself reminder sticky notes to keep your retainer at the front of your mind. All in all, the goal is twofold – to ensure you always remember where your retainer is, and to ensure that it’s never in a place where it might get lost or accidentally disposed of.
There are a number of different retainers available, from the ones you’ll use after braces to ones you’ll use before braces. You can also get Winnipeg Invisalign treatments. Invisalign isn’t technically a retainer (it’s more similar to braces in functionality), but the appliance can be lost just as easily. The tips we gave here apply to Invisalign and all other removable orthodontic devices, too!