Saturday, May 06, 2006

How I Lost My Retainer, Let Me Count The Ways

Some years ago, (longer than I care to remember), I was wearing my orthodontic retainer faithfully. I was cruising around town with my friends and suddenly realized I didn’t have my retainer. The last place I remember having it was at the Dairy Queen. Yes, I had placed it on the tray, covered it with a napkin or something and thrown it out! I went searching through the garbage, but never found it. This seems to be a common teenage problem. Some of our patients eventually lose their retainer at McDonalds, or at a ball game, or the dog ate it, etc.

Many dentists have told me all kinds of stories of how their patients lost their retainers. It seems to be just par for the course. So, let me know how you lost your retainer, because I know you probably did. Ha!

After you post your comments, you can check out this humorous book on how some kids lost their retainers: myretainer

49 comments:

monicabell said...

When I was in the fifth grade, I was in the lunch room with my tray. I was embarrassed to be wearing a retainer, everyone else had braces! I had to remove it to eat lunch so I wrapped it up in a napkin. Wouldn't you know it, at the end of the day...I remembered my retainer. After school, I searched through the garbage while my mother was called to pick me up. When she arrived, I hadn't found it. She took me home a paddled my butt with a flipflop sandal. We were pretty poor in those days, it was a huge expenditure for my folks to buy another one. Which they did and ultimately, I grew out of that one!!

Anonymous said...

There is a new service we learned about from our orthodontist. Its called Evertain and you get two sets of retainers and two years of replacement on any lost or broken ones. We couldn't believe it. We were worried our son, who seems to lose everything, would worry about losing it and letting us down. We were equally worried about having to discipline him when it happened. Evertain has been great and we don't worry about it now.

Anonymous said...

are you kidding I needed braces when I was in seventh grade and I thought that was so cool because that was the fad at that time so my sophmore year is when I got my retainer I would lose it left and right you I thought the rubber bands were bad enough but the retainer I had to go thru the trash several times and the last one I grew out of.

Jen said...

My orthodontist installed what they called a permanent retainer on my four middle teeth on the top row as well as my six middle teeth on the bottom. I remember them telling me it was truly permanent, but this was eleven years ago and I was only fourteen. So perhaps there is something I missed during that info session.

At any rate, I've been cruising along through high school, college, the rest of my life, thinking these things were infallible and never leaving. But just last week, as I was flossing between my top teeth with my special floss, one of those brackets popped off. Then so did the one adjacent to it.

I tried not to mess with it all day while I waited to be able to call my childhood orthodontist (who's still in practice, now three thousand miles away from where I live) as it was a Sunday. But by the end of the day, I pried it off-- remarkably easily-- with my fingers.

And that is how I lost my "permanent" retainer! (Do you think my teeth will move now that they are free? And P.S. It's so much easier to floss!)

Sheila said...

I was at a swim party for my friend and left my retainers in my purse, leaving my retainer container at home. I speculated a few times how i lost it, and i came onto two ultimate choices. One, it could have dropped the one in the changing room. Or, two, I dropped it when I left my purse on a bench on it's side. I lost the bottom one only, and my parents were still pretty pissed. I was a little disappointed too. I had to get another molding, and another retainer. There goes my Christmas present.

Anonymous said...

When i lost my retainer, I was in 9th grade lunch. My friends always complained about seeing my retainer so I just wrapped it up in a napkin after leaving the case in my classroom. Since I made a bag lunch, I decided to conviniently place the napkins in the bag so no one would notice them. BIG MISTAKE! When the trash can came around, I wasn't going to throw away my trash but when he asked me, I decided oh okay I'll take my uneaten food out. But I forgot the most expensive thing in there!! After going back to the lunch room 2 lunch periods later I figured out it was too late & my retainer was already laying in the dumpster somewhere. My dad seemed pretty furious according to my brother. That cost him another 500 dollars!!

Anonymous said...

If you do not use your retainer i understand that over time your teeth will revert to how they should be if you did not have any orthodontic treatment. - But can they be worse than they would be especially if you have had "hyrax treatment" and so your upper palate is larger than what it would be? I have a son aged 8 who will have orthodontic and hyrax treatment. I am just wondering if later on in life he becomes - non-compliant with his retainers.

Your advice would be much appreciated.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Every case is different, but any relapse from non-compliance, well it would not likely go back "the way it was before". Expansion actually widens the arch so you have more room to put all the teeth than before.

Anonymous said...

I lost my retainer twice. Once 2 years ago, and then today! I lost my bottom one on a plane to NYC, and I had to get a new bottom one, which I accidentally bit down too hard on and it broke. I never got a bottom one.

Then today I realized I didn't have my top retainer after I has been at my friend's house yesterday and i took it off several times. I'm so scared to tell my mom!! I don't know where it could be. I asked my friend and she can't find it. I've ransacked my whole house!

Anonymous said...

I got a top retainer put it about 4 months ago and lost it before my first appointment, i was only supposed to have it in for 6 to nine months and was supposed to eat with it in. It's a horrible feeling so if you're eating out you're not going to want to go to the toilet to brush your teeth between dinner and desert. So i took it out and covered it in a napkin. Well anyway i got a new one and i've just come back from my holiday in greece and realised it must have fallen out of my pocket (i put it in there because i was coughing on something). My dentist is really strict and i'm really worried about what he'll say because i'll have to get a new one because i have to have another 2 years of treatment with fixed braces etc

Anonymous said...

I was on a school trip to Europe and had visited 3 countries and not lost my retainer. On the flight home, we had pizza and I took it out to eat and left it on the tray. About an hour after lunch was over I realized I didn't have it. 3 stewardesses and I spent another 45 minutes going through everyone's trays. I found it and have never lost it since.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Nooo! ---never on the tray! Ha! Glad you found it.

Chocamochi said...

I'm really sad, if i could just one thing in this world, it would be my retainers. i left my retainers in a napkin on the table, then the next morning i went to get them. my grandma had thrown them away not knowing they were in there. i went searching through the garbage bag, but i couldnt find them. this happened two weeks ago. i cried my eyes out im real sad bcus theyre already shifting. my mom said she wont buy me another retainer.if could just have one thing, it would be my retainers :(

Anonymous said...

I lost my retainers 2 days ago at the beach nd I toke them off to eat nd I rember putting them in the case nd I left nd I put my case with the retainer in my car nd I think I forgot it at the beach now I don't know how to tell my dad nd he is supper strict nd I don't know hiw I will pay for it it's 529 $ nd my dad does not have work right no nd my mom can't pay for them nd I don't know how to tell my dad he will b so mad at me nd I don't know if they r going to buy me some née retainers I will look in he car nd if I don't find them to day I will b dead how should I tell them will my teeth go all wierd plus I haven't even had them for a year I have only had them for 2 mounths what should I do plz help omg if I don't find them I will b punished

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Well, I hope you will not be punished. Just show your dad this post and he will see it's not unusual even with the best of intentions. I lost my retainer when I was your age.

Anonymous said...

Last year, I was at Target, and before we went shoppig, we had a quick snack in the cafè. I got a soft pretzel. I started eating it, then realized that the salt was getting stuck inmyretainer. I took out my retainers, an folded them in a napkin and set it on my lap so I wouldn't forget them. When my mom called for all the trash, I instinctivly gave her my retainer napkin.
Later, we were in the middle of shopping. My little beothe announced that he had to go to the bathroom, and my mom asked me to take him, so I did. As he went I was looking at my terth in the mirror. OH DARN! I tell my brother to finish up, and I go straight to the cafe and dig through the trash. NO LUCK. I run to my mom tell her what happened, and we both go back. We talk to the starbucks girl, and look through the trash. After 20 minutes, we finally find it. Luckily I realized it when I did. Because the starbucks girl said she was about to take out the trash.
I put it my pocket, and when I got home, I scrubbed it clean. No more putting my retainers in my napkin!

Anonymous said...

i had just recently lost my retainers actually. my french class went on a food field trip and i forgot to bring my case with me. Thinking, "well, i haven't lost it for about 4 months, and i always use a tissue anyways," i put my retainers in a tissue. thing is, i put that tissue in my pants pocket. and these pants, i have never worn them before. can't say i blame the pants. noo. i know for sure it's my fault. usually i'd wear jeans and they'd be tight enough so the tissue won't slip out. so anyways, we finished eating and went back to the bus to go back to school. i do not remember if it was still in my pocket or not. so i changed for P.E. and played a sport then changed back to pants and shirt. i had gone though the whole school to get to my next class. when i sat down on a chair, that was when i realized that my retainers were missing. i retraced my steps, looking in trash cans, asking every teacher if they had seen my retainers, and nothing! now i've come home and my parents are mad. sorta saw it coming. going to look for it on the bus and the cafe place we went to. hopefully it's somewhere.

shad0w_kitt3n said...

i went to a midnight movie premier and i put my retainer in my purse like always when i eat well i got home and the bottom peace was gone!! the only thing i can think of is it has fallen out of my purse when i got my wallet out for the popcorn and now i cant get a hold of my orthodontist till Monday none of the dentist here can get an impression of my teeth either so what should i do?

shad0w_kitt3n said...

I just lost my retainer last night at the midnight premier it must have fell out when i got the money out for my drinks and popcorn i tried to call my orthodontist but i wont be-able to get a hold of him till Monday and none of the dentist i called can do an impression... what should i do till then?

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

I'd enjoy a few days without my retainer... No really, a few days will not make too much difference. Teeth do not move that fast. Now it is good to get a new retainer within a few weeks. After that, things could start moving more significantly depending on circumstances. Seems you have joined the legions of patients who have lost their retainers as well.

Anonymous said...

I lost my retainer today around noon i, was making pancakes with my friend and i took it out to taste the batter, so i rinsed it and placed it on the edge of the sink. After i finished eating I realized i didnt have it and went looking all throughout my house. I had to tell my mom so i did and she is mad. she says i have to pay for my own new one. I went searching for it for like 5 hours i went through the garbage, checked the dishwasher, (in case someone bumped it into it), you name it i looked there. I was wondering if there are any suggestions on places i could look tomorrow because they open on monday and that when in going?

Anonymous said...

I lost my retainer today and I'm miserable its the second time and I refuse to tell my parents they are already low on money and I don't want to be a bother so I'm thinking of waiting it out till November when they give me a new retainer (the one you permanently keep after 6 months) Will my teeth shift too much? I'm terrified since my dentist pulled out four molars when I was getting braces and I don't want gaps!

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Teeth don't move very fast once you loose a retainer. A few weeks usually doesn't make a big difference. Several months can.

Anonymous said...

This is the second time I've lost my retainer. The first time, I set it on the counter to eat dinner, and when I went back for it, it was gone. I discovered it in the oven after two weeks of looking for it, but it had already been baked at a nice 450 degrees. This time, the same thing. I put it down to eat peanut brittle at my desk, and now it's gone. I don't know how I can be so forgetful! Either that, or why my family keeps moving it to weird places!

Anonymous said...

I lost my retainer twice this month first eating out in a restaurant put it in a napkin, and I thought I had put in in my pocket, look for it never found it again. Last night I did the same thing but this time I checked three times I had it, and I got home and never found it again I had clear ones I will be getting my permanent ones in two weeks what should I do?? I do not want to call my ortho again or tell my parents.

Anonymous said...

about 5 months ago I had my braces removed after three years, i was given two see through retainers and as i was cleaning the top retainer, it snapped. I didnt tell my dad for two months, in which time my teeth had moved slightly so I then got a wire retainer and I have now lost both of the retainers, after looking in my bath bag which is the only place is would leave them unless i had put them in a napkin and by accident thrown them away! What should i do, my dad will have a fit?
p.s i am a 15 yr old girl named freddy

Anonymous said...

I was eating in a cafe with my friend and I took it out and put in the pocket in my jumper. It was hot so I took the jumper off and forgot about it and walked around townincluding buying clothes and getting changed after we finished meal. Mum is so angry she says she won't pay for replacement and my teeth can move as much as they like dunno what to do

Anonymous said...

I only got my retainer 2 weeks ago, I slept over at a friends house and forgot it (i forgot my case at home amd set it on the nightstand) when my mum came to get me in the morning I forgot to pick it up. I asked my friend to look for it but she didnt fimd it. Now my mum has to pay 300+ dollars for a new one and it makes me upset evertime i think about it. I am so forgetful and now it is costing lots of money :(

Also, we dont have insurance that covers ortho, so we have to pay the full amount for everything, and I was wondering, what makes retainers so expensive? Like it is a bit of plastic with 2 metal wires, why does it cost so much?

Anonymous said...

The first time I lost my retainer, I put it in a napkin on the counter in my kitchen and my mom threw it away. I searched through the trash and looked everywhere and my brother finally found it. I promised to always put it back in my case. Recently, I went on vacation to a wedding. I thought I had my retainer in my purse the entire vacation, but when I got home, I realized I did not have it. It must have fallen out or I could have left it at the hotel. I'm so distraught over where it is. This is so frustrating.. looking for something that seems like you'll never be able to find. It could be anywhere at the moment. :[

Buzzer:) said...

I just lost my retainer for the 2nd time and my parents were pissed. i tried retrassing my steps but that didnt work its like a day now and i still cannot find it i tried to re imagine where i would put it but its not working i dont remember if i went to my friends house with or without it and my dad is still mad its the second time and they said i would have to pay for the second and the next one with my bm money and my dad would also sell my iphone. I really want to find it but i have no clue where it could be!

Anonymous said...

I got a retainer in june and ive been wearing it like ive supposed to have been, only takeing it out to eat and brush my teeth, im supposed to be getting my permanant one quite soon, the start of august, but the thing is, im on holiday and ive lost it today an i cant fin it and i wont be back home till the start of august, so do you think within that time my teeth will have moved enough to have been ruined? Im really worried because i cant even phone the orthodontist to get a new one ):

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Teeth without a retainer can move, but it takes time. A few weeks is not critical. The first 6 months of braces are removed are the most important, that is, the most likely for the teeth to move.

Anonymous said...

I just lost my retainer today...... I also just got it today. I put it on the table right in front of me in plain sight while I was at an event so I would remember to pick it up, and i forgot. Now I don't know how to explain to my parents why my retainer is missing.

Anonymous said...

I left my retainer in the car in a napkin and someone threw it out. I looked everywhere and I cant find it... I got my nraces of in 6th grade and im now in 11th grade. I will be honest, i havent worn it in a couple of years and nothing has shifted but will it shift later?

Anonymous said...

I out my down on the bathroom counter last night and now I can't find them...I better find them because I hate wearing my spare pair

Anonymous said...

I, like so many others lost my retainer (bottom) at a restaurant. It was partially my fault, because I was suppose to eat with it it, but as always, I had to take it out. I put it on a napkin, and didn't cover it up (so when I look at the table, instead of seeing napkins I can see my retainer and slip it right back in!) however, my dad told me to cover it up, and put it beside me, as to see a retainer is "Gross," so I listened to him. I forgot them when I left, but luckily the people there found the top. We looked through the trash but couldn't find the bottom. I've only had it for almost a day and I ended up getting yelled at. And I wasted my parents' money. ): Never putting a napkin over them again. No matter how gross people think a retainer is. They can deal with it.

Anonymous said...

My mom is super mad at me because I lost my retainer and I hate it when she's mad at me but the truth is I last remember putting it in my case and when I wanted to put it in before bed I couldn't find them and now I seriously feel like pulling and it's 2:20 am and I can't sleep because my mom is seriously pussed and she said she won't take me to get another one what am I supposed to do? I searched the whole house and I can't find it and I don't know where to look I mean it was in the case....

Anonymous said...

Last night when I came to put my retainer in before I we t to sleep I relaized it wasn't in its case where I remember leaving it. So I searched the whole house for hours and at 1-Ish I decided to go tell my mom. Of course she was so mad at me and was like 'deal with this it's your problem not mine and I'm not getting you another one' so then I kept looking and I searched the garbage bins and everywhere and it was horrible and around 3 I finally went to sleep. Then I woke up at seven and kept looking and I told the housekeeper to look with me and then I finally found it in the laundry basket with the clothes that just came out of the dryer. I guess it was in my pocket or something and it got washed

Anonymous said...

back in august. i was at my cousins house and they have dogs. well, i had my retainers in my lap to eat because i forgot my retainer case . i got up and forgot they were there. i realized they were gone and i looked at the spots i walked over. i found the bottom one and could not find the top one. i told my cousin and his wife and they helped me look. we could not find it. i called my dad and he told me that he told me last time i lost it that he was not buying another one. we finally found it and the dog had carried it to her bed. lol

fds said...

I have lost my retainer, not once, but TWICE! I recieved the first one last January and I wore it every night, but one morning I was cleaning it off and that's the last thing I can remember. It was on a Friday evening when I realized it and I had cleaned it off that morning.. I couldn't get into the orthodontist until the following Tuesday, I was so nervous and swore I'd never let it happen again. The new retainer cost almost 500 dollars.. I never did find the old one.. I did good for about 10 months.. well now it's a Sunday evening and this past Friday I did the EXACT same thing, I can't contact my othodontist until tomorrow and hopefully be in by Tuesday. And once again, I have to pay 500 dollars. :( ..NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER AGAIN! I sware to myself this time!

Madison said...

Gah! I lost mine! I just found out today that I had left it on the playground at my school, and someone threw it out. When I went to go get it, it was too late. It's currently Dec 17 and my dad said I can't get it replaced until the new year! So probably the first week of January. Will this do make my teeth shift? I got my braces off in September.

Anonymous said...

I lost my retainer today. I left it on our dining table, and later that night when I came back, it was gone. I thought my mom moved it or something so I looked in my retainer case, not there, my mom wasn't home at the time so I just went to bed. The next day I asked her and she said she had no idea, so I have no idea were it is, or if my dogs ate it.

Anonymous said...

I lost my retainers for the second time and were low on cash and my mom won't buy new ones and says i don't care about your teeth so how fast will they shift

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Teeth shift the most in the first 6 months after braces are removed. There is always potential for crowding or tooth movement after braces without a good fitting retainer worn properly.

Anonymous said...

I lost my top retainer a month ago, my next appointment is three weeks from now and I will be getting my top braces. Do you think my orthodentist will still put the braces or do I have to get a new retainer? Is retainer worn while the braces is on?? I'm talking about the reatiner that is worn under your teeth.

Anonymous said...

I was at a football game with my friend and while we ate i took out my retainer and put it on my tray in plain sight. I did that to remember to put them back in. I stupidly forgot them! I told my parents on the drive back home and next morning we checked and it was in the dumpster never to be seen again. Now we are going to buy new ones and there so expensive! I feel bad cause my parents were pissed. How much are replacement retainers?

Anonymous said...

I lost my retainer for the second time this month. Well the first time my dog chewed it and my orthodontist is very nice and didn't charge me for a new one and I lost it. I am so scared to tell my parents! I've looked everywhere for it, and I even retraced my steps and nothing! What should I do???

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I lost my bottom retainer today. I am a private patient and I am soooooo scared and worried. I haven't told my parents yet because they will get really angry, everyone says to just tell them as soon as possible but I can't pluck up the courage to do so.I keep crying.What should I do? How much will a replacement retainer cost

Anonymous said...

I lost my retainer at a restaurant a hour and a half drive from where I live. i had forgotten the case at home but having done that before, I knew I would remember it if I left it on top of a napkin where I could see it. However, we were in a large group eating and the lady next to me thought it was "gross and impolite" to leave the retainer out where everyone could see it so I wrapped it in a napkin, which i knew I shouldn't do. After about 5 minutes of leaving the table, I realized that it was gone and ran to see if they had cleaned the table yet. They id. Just my luck. The workers searched through the trash and dishwashers and couldn't find it. I don't believe they were taking me seriously so I asked if I could search but it was a "Safety hazard". Yeah, okay. So now I have to get a new one. Message to all readers: NEVER and I mean NEVER EVER leave your retainer in a napkin. Put it in your pocket in your case always or you will be very sad.