My dog ate my Retainers! – Taking care of your Retainers
So here’s a common story we, as Orthodontists hear…. My dog chewed on my Retainer!
Some of the others are —
- My mom threw it in the trash,
- The waiter picked it up along with the plates,
- It was in my pocket and it cracked.
Now, we are not disputing any of these… surely something like this must have happened, (and there is a theory that the smell of the plastic and saliva on the retainer is enticing to the humble canine) – but the fact is that all these problems are avoidable by taking some basic care.
Retainers are very useful devices. After your braces treatment is completed, and the braces are removed, the supporting bone around the teeth has not completely hardened, and the fibers in the gum tissue are stretched. This means that the teeth are at risk of moving back to their initial position, which they were before you started orthodontic treatment. To prevent this relapse after orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will construct retainers for you, to be worn either part time or full time.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR RETAINERS
- Remember that the retainer should only be in either of two places – your mouth or in the retainer case!
- DO NOT wrap it in a tissue and keep it on the table… that usually is a one-way ticket to retainer heaven!
- If you need to remove your retainers while eating, ALWAYS place them in the protective case. (Keep your case with you at all times.)
- Never place them in your pocket without putting them in the retainer case. Retainers almost always get damaged if they are kept in the pocket.
- If retainers are to be worn at night only, keep them in the case, in a safe place. Some retainers need to be kept immersed in water – your orthodontist will advise you accordingly.
- CLEAN your retainers with a brush and a small amount of toothpaste. This will avoid any smell from the retainers.
- Always follow your Orthodontist’s instructions
- If your retainer is damaged or lost – contact your orthodontist immediately.
In our dental clinic in Dubai, we use a retainer protocol that involves fixed retainers as well as removable retainers. This reduces the dependence on removable retainers, however they are still important – and some simple care will help you to preserve your retainers, and your beautiful new smile!