Help! My Dog Ate My Retainer!

 In AccuSmile, Big Bend Orthodontics, Retainer Care

You’ve heard of a dog eating homework (though you likely never really believed this common excuse). Dogs eating retainers, however, don’t get nearly as much hype–even though it’s much more likely.

Think about it. Your retainer is a small, plastic object: the perfect size and shape for dogs to crunch between their jaws. If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it likely smells like the food particles picked up from your mouth after your last meal–and, failing that, it definitely smells like you! It’s the perfect attractant–and if you leave it sitting where your dog can get to it, chances are, they’re going to pick it up.

Will Eating a Retainer Hurt Dogs?

Chewing on your retainer probably won’t hurt dogs. If they eat it, however, the metal pieces and sharp, jagged plastic edges could cause damage to their intestines. If your dog does eat your retainer, contact your vet as soon as possible. They’ll let you know whether to bring them in for an exam or wait and see if everything, er, comes out in the end.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats My Retainer?

Step one, if your dog eats your retainer, is contacting the vet. You need to let your vet know about the incident and ask how they want you to handle it. You may need to take your dog in immediately, or you may need to monitor them for a few days to make sure that everything comes out okay.

Next, contact your orthodontist. Seeking medical care for your dog is first priority, but your second priority is ensuring that you don’t undo all the progress you’ve made on your teeth! Let our orthodontist know that your retainer got broken. (You might even share a giggle or two about it.) Schedule an appointment to have your retainer replaced as soon as possible.

How Can I Stop My Dog From Eating My Retainer?

Having your dog eat your retainer is incredibly frustrating–not to mention expensive, since you’ll need to pay for a replacement. Prevention may be key in this situation. Try:

  • Training dogs not to pick up items that belong to you and eat them.
  • Keeping your retainer in a safe location–a drawer that the dog can’t open, for example.
  • Keeping an eye on your retainer any time it’s not in your mouth, especially if you have pets around. Never leave it sitting, even after a meal!

Do you need orthodontic treatment (for you, not your dog)? If so, contact us today to learn more about the services we provide.

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