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It is no secret that dogs chew on anything and everything…. including retainers. They are fair game for “Man’s Best Friend” both in and out of the case if left out on the open. If you have a dog, never leave your retainer or Invisalign aligners on tables, bathroom counters, night stands, or any where they can jump up and snag the appliances. They will distort or eat them up in a few chews and thoroughly enjoy it without you even noticing. And if they swallow the sharp pieces of plastic, it can cause serious health issues a for your beloved pet!
Young children seem to be fascinated with them also. They may not chew on them like a pet, but they tend to pick them up out of curiosity, distort them, and drop them wherever they roam, making them hard to find.
At Papandreas Orthodontics we can’t stress enough the importance of taking care of your retainers. Here are some tips on how to keep your appliances out of harms way. We have heard all the horror stories and very little surprises us anymore. The safest place for retainers is usually in the mouth.
• Always place the retainer in the retainer case when not in your mouth. If it is in your case, it is more protected. If placed in a pocket it can fall out and disappear or end up in the wash and be destroyed. If it is out of your case in your backpack, gym bag, or on a locker shelf, you are asking for trouble. If you leave it lying around in the open on furniture, it is an accident waiting to happen in more ways than one.
• Do not wrap the retainer in a napkin while eating at home, school, or a friend’s house. There is a good chance it will end up in the garbage by mistake. It’s a nasty job sifting through garbage for a retainer, especially at school or in a restaurant! YUK…
• Do not clean the retainer with hot water or boil your retainer to sterilize. It will distort the plastic so it won’t fit and then you must replace it!
• Take them out when swimming. More than one retainer has ended up lost in the ocean surf, bottom of a lake, or public pool.
• Take them out when vomiting. Once you flush, they are gone!
• And the one rule that seems to be most popular…KEEP RETAINERS… AWAY FROM PETS AND SMALL CHILDREN!
If you go without wearing your retainer for any prolong length of time, especially right after the braces are removed, your teeth will begin to move. One set of retainers is included with treatment. If you break or lose them due to your own loss or neglect, there is normally a replacement fee, so please be careful.
If you have lost or damaged your retainer or retainers, contact our office to schedule an appointment to replace them. Maintaining your smile depends on it!
Dr. Papandreas is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, Cleveland Dental Society, Ohio Dental Association and the Schulman Study Group of top orthodontic practices nationally.