My Kid Lost Their Retainer: What Do I Do?

The day your child finally gets their braces off is a cause for celebration! Their teeth are perfectly aligned and they can finally munch on popcorn and toffee to their heart’s content. But having their braces off comes with one big responsibility—wearing a retainer. There’s nothing a parent wants to say less than “my kid lost their retainer – what do I do now?”

In most cases retainers are designed to keep teeth in place indefinitely. Since your child will probably be wearing their retainer for the foreseeable future, it’s almost inevitable that their retainer will get lost, damaged, or chewed on by an eager pet.

Luckily for you, losing a retainer isn’t the end of the world. Here are some quick tips to replace your child’s retainer and keep it safe going forward.


What to Do When Your Kid Has Lost Their Retainer

#1 Don’t Panic

Don’t worry, your child’s teeth won’t move overnight. After years of expensive orthodontia and trips to the dentist, it’s understandable to imagine your child’s teeth instantly transforming into a crooked mess without their retainer. But that’s not how orthodontics work! While it’s wise to order a replacement as soon as possible, you child will be completely fine without their retainer for a few days or weeks.

#2 Call Your Orthodontist’s Office

It’s always a smart idea to consult with your child’s dental care provider about the next steps. While you might have a preferred plan in mind, your orthodontist may provide additional resources or recommendations for the best course of action.

Depending on the type of retainer, and other factors in your child’s dental care plan, you may need to make an appointment to have a new retainer made. Chat with your orthodontist about replacement options and the potential costs of each.    

#3 Considering Ordering Online Replacements

Nowadays, you can conveniently and swiftly order replacement retainers with online services. Instead of visiting the dentist or orthodontist’s office, it’s easy to complete every step of the process from the comfort of your own home. Plus, online replacements are often much less expensive than trips to your child’s dental care provider.

Typically, online services have a three-step process to provide quality dental appliances:

  1. Order and receive the dental impression kit. This easy-to-use kit has step by step guidance for creating an accurate impression of your child’s teeth.

  2. Once you’ve made a satisfactory imprint, follow the instructions to send the impression back to the dental appliance service.

  3. Receive your child’s new retainers in the mail!

#4 Encourage Your Child to Wear Their Retainer Consistently

Once they have a replacement appliance, it’s time to enforce some good retainer-care habits for your child. Whether they wear the retainer overnight, during the day, or you devise another suitable schedule, encourage your child to stick to a routine when wearing their retainer. This way, they will get into the habit of taking their retainer out at the same time every day, which will minimize the chances of it getting left somewhere random by accident.

It’s also a great idea to make sure the retainer has a safe and secure “home.” If you haven’t already, it’s wise to invest in a retainer case. Instead of leaving it lying around, your child can store the retainer inside the case and place it on their bedside table, in a bathroom cupboard, or in a dresser drawer. No matter where the retainer is stored, make sure it’s easily accessible but not out in the open.

#5 Avoid Common Mistakes

Like any personal care appliance, there are several common ways retainers get lost or damaged. Whether or not one of these was the initial culprit for your child’s retainer woes, it’s helpful to bear these in mind to avoid future retainer mishaps.

  • Stay Away from Napkins – If your child has to remove their retainer before they eat a meal, make sure they don’t get into the habit of folding it up in a napkin. This is an extremely common way that retainers get accidentally cleared and thrown away, or else forgotten when the meal is over. To help remedy this, consider providing your child with several retainer cases. This way, they’ll have one at school and one at home and it’s quick and easy to store their retainer before they eat.

  • Keep Retainers Away from Pets – Your dog might be your kid’s best friend, but they can wreak havoc on your kid’s retainer. The soft plastic and (yes it’s gross) the smell, make retainers an appealing target for curious pooches. If you have a furry friend in the house make sure the retainer is always out of reach and never left at dog-level.

Did Your Kid Lose Their Retainer? Find Easy Solutions with Dental Lab Direct

If an online dental appliance service is the right fit for you, look no further than Dental Lab Direct. With prices up to 70% less than the average dentist, Dental Lab Direct provides retainers, night guards, partial dentures and more, all conveniently delivered to your home.

When your child loses their retainer it might be a hassle, but with Dental Lab Direct you can skip the stress and find the right product for your kid at prices you can afford.