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Congratulations! You’ve made it through having your braces and all that comes with it. Now you’re ready to move on to the next chapter in your journey to a straighter smile: the retention phase and a new removable retainer.

Why Are Retainers Important?

Once your braces are off, nothing stops your teeth from continuing to move, and they will try to shift back to their “natural” position. To prevent this from happening, your orthodontist will likely fit you with a fixed retainer – typically a thin orthodontic wire on the inside of your bottom teeth – and a removable retainer.

Top Ways Retainers are Lost

In many ways, your retainer is not like having braces, but the main one is that you couldn’t take your braces off. Now that you have a retainer, it’s up to you to remember to keep track of it and wear it as directed.

Some of the top ways people lose their retainer are by:

  • Taking it off while they eat and leaving it.
  • Losing it on vacation.
  • Leaving it out in the open for a pet to get to.
  • Not securing it in their backpack, bag, or pocket, so it falls out.

How to Keep Your Retainer Safe

Accidents happen, and losing things is inevitable. That being said, retainers are an expensive item to lose, so there are some ways to keep your retainer from getting lost.

Keep Your Retainer’s Case with You

Always have a case for your retainer with you, and don’t take your retainer out of your mouth if you don’t have a case handy. If your retainer isn’t in its case, it’s easier to lose.

Develop a Routine for Your Retainer

Having a routine for removing and putting in your retainer can help you keep track of it more effectively. If you’re putting it in every evening before bed, and removing it when you eat like clockwork, a routine will solidify.

Ultimately, the golden rule for retainers is this: it should be in either its case or your mouth. Nowhere else.