So Your Dog Ate Your Retainer: Keeping your Dental Appliances Safe

When you become a dentist the old ‘dog age my homework’ excuse is something you expect to experience at some point in your career. If you become a dentist or orthodontist you don’t expect to hear it used at all – but it happens.

It is surprising the number of dental and orthodontic patients that come in with a broken or damaged retainer. When we ask them what happened, the reply is sometimes surprising. 

While it may give you a bit of a laugh that your dog tried to eat your retainer, it can get expensive to constantly have to replace the retainer. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep your retainer safe from dogs and other accidents that could damage it.

To help save you money and the hassle of having to get a new retainer, we have created a list of tips that will help prevent any damage from happening to your retainer.

Keep the Retainer Case in the Same Spot

Most patients only have to wear their retainer at night. When you aren’t wearing it, keep it in its proper container and store that container in the same spot. This will not only make it easy for you to find each and every night, but you will notice if it goes missing.

Store the Small Retainer Case in a Larger Case

Small cases are tempting to dogs and small children. They think they are toys. Unfortunately, this leads to the retainer getting damaged because it is not designed to be played with or chewed on.

If you wish to keep your retainer safe, we recommend that you store it inside its proper container. Then take the small container and store it in a bigger container, or out of reach of pets and children. 

Properly Clean Your Retainer on a Regular Basis

Properly cleaning your retainer can help prevent it from becoming damaged. The following are some tips on how to properly clean your retainer:

  • Gently brush your retainer after every meal. This will help remove any bacteria or food particles that may get stuck on it throughout the day.
  • Use a soft toothbrush to properly clean the retainer.
  • Avoid using toothpaste that is for tartar control as it could scratch or damage your retainer.
  • Clean your retainer with mouthwash, denture cleaner, or even distilled white vinegar.

By eliminating bacteria and the subsequent smell from your retainer it becomes less an object of interest for pets and pests – not to mention keep your mouth free of smell and excessive bacteria.

Learn How to Properly Care for Your Retainer When You Visit Your Orthodontist

After you receive your new retainer from your orthodontist, you will be given instructions on how to clean your retainer, keep it safe, and other important information you will need to know. Pay careful attention to what you are told as this information will help you keep your retainer safe. If you should not understand something or have any questions, feel free to ask your orthodontist or his staff. They will gladly answer your questions or clarify your instructions.

Patients at Melbourne Orthodontics are encouraged to call and ask questions anytime about how to care for their retainer. Our friendly office staff and dental hygienists will gladly answer any questions you may have on how to properly care for your retainer.

In the event your retainer should become damaged, disfigured, or broken, call our office right away to schedule an appointment with Dr. Reddick. Dr. Reddick will work quickly to get you a new retainer as the longer you do without one, the more likely your teeth will be to shift or move.

Call our offices today to schedule an appointment to be fitted for a new retainer if yours happened to be eaten by your dog or to ask our office staff any questions about how to store or care for your retainer.