You meet your significant other at a fast-food restaurant for lunch. While you eat you take out your retainer and wrap it in a napkin for safekeeping. You would have put it in a case but you rushed out of your apartment without it.
No big deal. At least, you thought it wouldn’t be a big deal. That was until you threw your retainer away with the rest of your trash.
The panic sets in once you get home and realize that you’ve got a lost retainer to deal with. Take a few deep breaths. It’s not the end of the world and it can be replaced.
Keep reading to find out what your options for replacement are and how to stop yourself from experiencing this fearful experience again.
1. Don’t Panic
When you realize that you’ve lost your retainer the panic will instantly set in. This won’t do anything but give you high blood pressure. Your teeth won’t start to go back to their pre-treatment formation because you don’t wear your retainer for a few days.
You have time so take a deep breath and try to retrace your steps. If you come to the conclusion that yes, your retainer is no longer where you left it then call your orthodontist.
2. Give Your Orthodontist a Call
If you’ve looked for a few hours and still can’t find your retainer then you’ll need to contact your orthodontist to get a new one. They’ll make an appointment with you to either make a new mold of your teeth or to order a copy of your old ones if they still have your impression.
It will take a few days to get your new retainer made. Again, don’t worry, you won’t lose much tooth progress in that time.
3. Pay the Replacement Cost
The only problem with ordering a copy of your retainer from the orthodontist is the expense. It will cost you a few hundred for each piece, top and bottom.
This is the most convenient method but if you can’t afford the replacement at the moment, you’ll need to explore other options.
4. Order Online Instead
It can be cheaper for you to make your own impression and send it off to the same lab that your orthodontist uses. Buy a self-impression kit online. When it arrives, take an impression of your mouth and then mail it off to the lab.
It will take a little longer to get to you but it will only be about 100 dollars for your top and bottom replacements and shipping. You can’t beat that deal and your teeth won’t shift much during the time that you have to wait.
5. Pop the New Retainer In
Once you receive your new retainer from either the orthodontist or in the mail, pop it in. If your teeth did shift at all during the wait then the new retainer will slowly push them back into place. No harm done.
Now that the situation has been resolved, consider buying a separate set of retainers so when you lose one set you’ll have a back up for next time.
6. How To Stop Yourself from Losing Them Again
If you can’t afford a separate set you’ll need to be extra careful with your new ones so you don’t lose them. Here are a few easy ways to keep your retainer safe from harm.
It’s hard to lose your retainer if it’s in your mouth at all times. During the first month or so you have them you shouldn’t be taking it out for much anyway.
The only time it should be out of your mouth is when you’re eating, brushing your teeth, or cleaning it. For the first two years, you should even keep it in while you’re sleeping.
Having a backup retainer is a good idea so you never have to worry about not having one available. Visit SportingSmiles today to learn about our high-quality, low-cost Essix retainers and give yourself some peace of mind.
Never Put It in a Napkin
Like in the example in our opening, your retainer isn’t safe if you stuff it in a napkin. If it’s out of sight then it’s going to be out of mind. It’s easy to forget about it and toss it in the garbage with the rest of your trash.
If you must wrap it in a napkin, put it in your purse or bag. Don’t leave it out on the table.
Always Put It in the Same Place
If your retainer is always in the same place then you’ll know where to look for it first if it goes missing. We recommend the bathroom medicine cabinet. It’s nice and out of the way there.
Keep It out of Reach of Pets
To your pet, your retainer is just another plastic toy for them to play with. If you leave it in their warpath they will take the opportunity to take it and chew it up. Make sure that you keep it out of puppy reach.
Buy a Case
Of course, the best way to prevent yourself from losing your retainer again is to purchase a case for it. This gives you a better place to put it than a napkin when you go out to eat.
Buy a case that’s a bright color so it will be hard for you to lose and so you can find it in the trash if you do toss it on accident.
Steps to Take to Replace a Lost Retainer
It’s easy to panic when you have a lost retainer to worry about but the good news is they aren’t too hard to replace.
All you have to do is contact your orthodontist or order an impression kit so you can send off a mold of your mouth to the lab yourself. Whatever you decide to do, get your replacement ASAP and stop your teeth from losing their progress.
Need to order your replacement retainer or just want to get a backup? We’ve got you covered. Browse through our options.