Lost Retainer – What Do I Do?

lost retainer

Your removable retainer is a very important part of your orthodontic treatment, it helps retain your smile for life after braces or Invisalign! We know that it can be common for your removable retainer to get lost, broken, or accidentally thrown out. If you want to continue to maintain your perfect smile, you should act quickly if you have a lost retainer! 

Lost Retainer

The most common cause of needing to replace a retainer is due to lost retainers. This can often happen during a meal when wrapping them up in a napkin or tissue. We often hear patients say they took out their retainers to eat, placed them in a napkin, and forgot they were there when cleaning up. Clear retainers are so clear and light that you often don’t know that they are wrapped up in the napkin. 

When taking your retainers out for a meal, always place them in their case. This is the easiest way to ensure they don’t get lost. When you’ve finished eating make sure to brush your teeth before placing them back in your mouth. 

If you are at the stage of only wearing your retainers at night, get into a routine early. When you wake up in the morning, place your retainers in their case and place the case in the same spot each and every day. While the case is easier to find than just the aligners, it is still small and light and can easily be covered by other items. 

If you are confident you lost retainers, and cannot find them, you don’t have too long to wait to request a new pair. Your teeth can move out of their new positions and return to their original spots while hoping to find the lost retainers. Call our office immediately if you have lost your retainers so we can order you a new pair! 

Broken Retainers

Vivera retainers are made of thin clear plastic to ensure they are comfortable and hard to see while wearing. That also means they are hard to see when not wearing! While Vivera retainers are made of durable plastic, they aren’t break-proof. Retainers can break, and if they do they are useless. A broken retainer will no longer provide the support your teeth need to stay in place. 

When taking your retainers in and out you want to be gentle with them, especially when cleaning. Hot water can warp the retainers to no longer properly fit your teeth. Eating and drinking with your retainers in is another way to break them or permanently stain them.

Do you have a pet? While we love your furry friends, they are another cause of broken or lost retainers! Dogs love the smell of retainers – it smells like their favorite human! If they can reach them they will chew them up in a matter of minutes. 

Lost Retainer – What Do I Do?

If you have realized you’ve lost your retainer, don’t delay in contacting your experienced orthodontist. If you are part of our Smile Protection Plan we will order your new retainers, as long as you don’t delay. If it’s been a while since you’ve worn retainers, your old scan might not be accurate, meaning the newly ordered retainers won’t fit.

If you aren’t sure what to do – call us! We’ll gladly help you determine what to do about lost retainers and what your next steps are. How long you’ve been out of treatment will determine how quickly your teeth will move. 

Even if the conversation is hard, tell your parents right away! They will probably help you look or contact your orthodontist for a new one. 

Back-up Set of Retainers

While most people only need one set of retainers, others prefer to have a backup so they don’t need to stress over lost retainers. Thankfully, our Smile Protection Plan helps make this a breeze! Whatever your reason is for needing more than one retainer, we can help! 

Contact Your Trusted Orthodontist

If you have any concerns about your retainers, don’t delay in contacting us! Whether you need a replacement retainer or a new retainer, we’re happy to help!