A Visit to the Dentist

I was born with teeth that like to migrate (fun!). I won’t even tell you the amount of money that has been spent on orthodontia for me. It’s embarrassing. About five or six years ago, I got permanent retainers cemented behind my upper and lower teeth to hold them in place. I wear a molded plastic retainer at night, too. (I’m supposed to wear it every night, but I am lazy. I only wear it about 2x per week.) A few weeks ago, I was brushing my plastic retainer in an attempt to clean it. And then, snap! The bottom half broke in two.

I emailed the Peace Corps and they made a dentist appointment for me a few days later. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a Kosovar dentist. But, it ended up being one of the most efficient dental appointments I’ve ever had. I was in and out in 15 minutes, and my new retainer was ready to be picked up the next day!


The staff was nice and spoke English. That was helpful, as my dental vocabulary in Shqip is very limited. I know how to say teeth (“dhemb” [pronounced like the English word them with a b sound on the end]), but that’s it.

The dentist even offered to steam clean the non-broken half of my retainer. He was like, “Umm, this is disgusting.” And I was like, “Umm, I never clean it.” (And see what happened when I tried to clean it? I broke it!)


Anyway, it was a pleasant experience. If anyone has any helpful tips on how to clean retainers, please share. I’ve tried denture cleaning tabs with only so-so results, and I’ve tried to brush them with toothpaste. Mostly, I just run them under warm water. 🙂

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