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How to keep your teeth straight if you lose your retainer

Updated March 23, 2017

After wearing braces for a certain amount of time to straighten out your teeth, you may be required to wear a retainer. This will help keep teeth in place after they moved during the process of wearing the braces. Many people fall into the bad habit of wearing the retainer at first and then leaving it laying around after meals, and often forget to put it back in. This is the fastest way to undo all of the work done while wearing your braces. However, if you have lost your retainer, there are a few steps to take to ensure that your teeth don't move before you can get a replacement.

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  1. Contact your orthodontist immediately. This is the only way to ensure that your teeth won't move, as the office can replace your retainer quickly. Your orthodontist knows that every day that goes by without wearing the retainer means moving teeth, undoing years of good orthodontic work.

  2. Ask your orthodontist for advice on what you can do to keep your teeth from moving until you get a replacement. While there may be nothing you can do to keep teeth straight until you get a new retainer, it's worth an ask in the event that he has a few dos and don'ts to prevent movement among your teeth.

  3. Ask about a temporary solution. There may be a temporary solution to moving teeth due to a lost retainer. Using a clear aligner may work, however, be sure to ask your orthodontist if this is a good option for you before doing it. Otherwise, it could cause more harm than good.

  4. Avoid stress on your mouth, such as grinding or gnashing your teeth together. Doing this stretches the muscles in your mouth and in your jaw, which can cause your teeth to move. This might seem like a small thing, but until you have a replacement retainer, you need to do whatever you can to avoid movement among your teeth.

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About the Author

Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.

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