Tooth Tips for Later Life

Lost Retainer Blues: What to do if You Have Lost Your Retainers While out of Town

Retainers are easily misplaced. Come to think of it, retainers are so small--or appetizing where dogs are concerned--that if left lying around, they can fall prey to any number of mishaps. However, if you are out of town when you lose your retainer and unable to get back to see your orthodontist for several days or more, your teeth could shift before you get back.

Although teeth that have shifted slightly can be moved back with a new retainer, the longer you go without a retainer, the more severe the shifting might be. Fortunately, there are ways of getting a temporary retainer that you can use until you get back.

First, Call Your Orthodontist

You should call your orthodontist first because they can help you in two ways here. They can first begin making a second set of retainers for you to replace the lost or broken set. However, because this takes time, the new retainers likely won't be ready for at least a few days.

Explain the situation to your orthodontist and ask them if they can mail you a temporary retainer that you can use until you get back. If they don't have a problem with mailing you the temporary retainers, you should be able to receive them the next day. Obviously, if you are overseas, this becomes a little tricky.

Ask Your Orthodontist to Refer You to a nearby Clinic

To save time, you could also ask your orthodontist to refer you to another orthodontist in the area you are currently in. Not only will this save you time, but it will also ensure that your orthodontist can pass on instructions to the other clinic and let them know exactly what you need.

Seek out the Nearest Dentist or Orthodontist

Wherever you are, there will likely be at least one dental clinic nearby. Find them and ask them to make you a temporary retainer. These types of retainers are of the clear suck-down variety and can serve to keep your teeth in place while you see out the rest of your business trip or holiday. While obviously not as effective as your long term retainer, a temporary retainer will hold your teeth in place and prevent major shifts from occurring until you get back.

If you ever lose your retainer while away, don't  risk an orthodontic relapse by putting off replacing it until you get back. Otherwise, you could end up reversing months of progress as your teeth shift back into their former positions. Get in touch with a dental service right away.