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Don’t Lose That Retainer


Let’s face it - losing your retainer is a lot easier than it sounds, and it sounds pretty easy. With their translucent plastic and thin wires, many retainers easily blend into your teeth and gums, but they also blend into many surfaces you put them down on, including the No. 1 place most people, at least kids, lose their retainers: cafeteria lunch trays.

The problem is, despite their small size, retainers can be extremely expensive, and even if your insurance covers one retainer, it most likely won’t cover a second or third, which can really add up. In fact the average retainer costs $150 to $300 but can go much higher depending on the complexity of the device.

So naturally, if you or your child wear a retainer, you want to do your best to safeguard it so you aren’t stuck footing the bill for a replacement. Easier said than done, right? Well, maybe not. Try these tips for keeping your retainer safe when you’re not using it.

Use the Case

When you first get your retainer, Dr. Simpson will provide you with a carrying case to store it in. This case will not only keep it clean, but will also protect it from damage and make it easier for you to find when you’re ready to put it back in your mouth. Lost the case? Speak to Dr. Simpson at your next appointment about getting a new one.

Don’t Lose the Case

Another easy way to lose your retainer is to lose your retainer case. To prevent this, pick a case in a bright color that will catch your eye, and pick a tray at lunch that will contrast with that case. Don’t want to carry the case around? Invest in a drawstring sportpack or a small coin bag that fits in a back pack and can be worn to carry the retainer case.

Consistency Is Key

When you’re at home or work, be consistent about where you keep your retainer or case when not in use. That way you will know exactly where to look when it goes missing (again).

Put 'Em Up!

When you take out your retainer, make sure you are putting it up high enough off the ground to be safe from abduction by younger children and pets.

Get Tech Savvy

Nowadays, many kids have a tablet, phone or another smart device like a home assistant or smart watch. Use those devices to set reminders to put in and clean retainers - but also to remind you where you put them, and to retrieve them when you’re ready to wear them again.

In the Future ...

Students at the University of California, San Francisco’s Biodesign Laboratory are designing a retainer called the SmartByte, which transmits data on usage to the wearer's provider and also uses Bluetooth to help track down lost devices. Though not available to consumers yet, the SmartByte could be the perfect solution for those of us who frequently lose our remotes, keys and even retainers.

To schedule an orthodontic visit with Dr. Simpson, please call her office at (910) 550-3959.

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