In a perfect world, you would always keep your orthodontic retainer nearby and never lose it. Unfortunately, things don’t always work that way and there is a good chance that at some point you will lose your retainer. Learn why your retainer is so important and what you need to do if you should lose it.
Why is Your Retainer an Important Part of Your Orthodontic Care?
After months and months of dealing with uncomfortable wires and stiff brackets, you have finally entered the last stage of your orthodontic treatment – wearing a retainer. This part of your orthodontic treatment may not seem like it does much, but it is one of the most important parts of your orthodontic care.
It is extremely important because it helps you keep your teeth straight and perfect. The braces with wires and brackets that you wore helped to shift and move your teeth into their new proper position. Unfortunately, your teeth will not stay in their new position and will naturally want to shift back to their “old” position. The retainer you wear helps to prevent your teeth from shifting back into their old position.
How Long Do You Have to Wear Your Retainer?
If you had orthodontic treatment, you will always have to wear a retainer. As long as you want your teeth to stay the same way as they looked when the braces were removed. But the length of time that you will have to wear your retainer per day will vary from person to person. Some people will need to wear their retainer regularly for 12 to 15 hours per day, others would only need them for 8 to 10 hours per night.
Everyone needs to wear retainers regularly to prevent their teeth from shifting back into their old position.
Don’t Panic if You Lose Your Retainer
It is important that you don’t panic if you lose your retainer. While it is an important part of your orthodontic care, you won’t experience problems if you are unable to wear it for few days or a week.
It usually takes a few weeks of not wearing your retainer for your teeth to shift back to their old position. So, as long as you get a replacement retainer relatively quick you won’t have to wear braces again in order to fix your smile.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Orthodontist to Get a Replacement Retainer
A replacement retainer can be ordered through your orthodontist. Depending upon how long ago you got your retainer, you may be able to just call your orthodontist’s office and order a new retainer. However, if it has been a while since you got your retainer, you may need to come into the office and have measurements taken for a new retainer.
Retainers May Feel Tight the First Few Weeks with the New Retainer
The first few weeks of wearing your new retainer you may notice that they feel tighter and a bit uncomfortable. This is completely normal. The retainer feels uncomfortable and a bit tight because your teeth have started to shift. The retainer is gently guiding them back to their proper position.
If you don’t want to deal with any potential discomfort from your new retainer, you will want to replace your lost one as soon as possible. The longer you wait to get a replacement retainer, the more time your teeth will have to shift and you have a higher chance of experiencing slight discomfort.
Tips for Preventing the Loss of Your Retainer
There is no guaranteed way to prevent you from losing your retainer. However, there are some things you can do to lessen your chances of losing your removable retainer. Some things you can do to prevent yourself from losing your retainer include:
- Never wrapping it in tissue as it could accidentally get thrown out
- Keep it stored in the same place. For example, store it on a table next to your bed or in the bathroom.
- Keep it stored in the protective case when you aren’t wearing it.
- Try to keep to a schedule when wearing it. This helps you create a routine and lessens your chances of misplacing it.
Recently lost your retainer and in need of a new one? Call Valderrama Orthodontics to schedule an appointment to get a new retainer or to place an order for a new one.