Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings Blog

These Are the Best Two Places to Keep Your Retainer

this dog is hungry for a retainer

Your braces were a significant investment. If you’re an adult with braces, you’re well aware of that. If you’re still under your parents’ roof, they likely reminded you of it.

Because you’ve invested in orthodontic care for yourself or your child – whether for medical reasons or cosmetic – don’t throw away all your hard work by forgoing proper retainer wear and care.

We’ve talked about the importance of wearing your retainer and how to best care for your retainer, and now we’ll share our advice on the best two places to store your retainer.

Best Place #1 – In Your Mouth

This one may seem obvious, but we know how easy it is to not wear your retainer.

When you first get your braces off, you’ll need to wear your retainer at all times for a few months. After that, you’ll wear it at night for the rest of your life (or as long as you want your teeth to stay straight).

When you’re retainer is in your mouth where it’s supposed to be, you won’t lose it or break it. That means you’re less likely to need to buy a new one in the future!

Best Place #2 – In Its Case

Here’s where retainer life can get a little crazy – we’ve heard all kinds of stories about how retainers have met their demise!

There are a couple main culprits of Where Did I Put My Retainer Syndrome: mealtime and daytime (once you’re only wearing it at night).

Here’s our advice!

At Mealtimes


When you need to take your retainer out to eat, do not set it on your plate, and do not cover it with a napkin. Digging through garbage isn’t a flattering look for anyone – even if you have a beautiful, healthy smile.

Make it a habit to keep your retainer case with you in your backpack, purse, or reusable lunch bag. That way, even if you do forget to put it back in your mouth after meals, you know it’s in a safe place rather than in the trash.

Also, don’t put it in your pocket (unless it’s in the case). That’s another good way for your retainer to become broken or lost in the laundry.

During the Day


Once you have the go-ahead from your orthodontist to wear your retainer only at night, it’s crucial that you keep it in the case during the day.

If you leave your retainer laying around the house, it can be stepped on, lost, or even eaten by your dog!

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, dogs are attracted to the smell of the materials of which retainers are made, as well as human saliva. Their powerful jaws can absolutely demolish your retainer, so don’t let them find it!

Let Us Know If Something Happens to Your Retainer

We know that accidents happen! While we certainly hope that you don’t need a replacement retainer, it’s important to let us know right away if yours does become lost or broken.

Your retainer keeps your teeth in their new positions following active treatment, so it’s important to take retainer-wear seriously. Contact us if you need a new retainer or have any questions.