A couple of months ago, I got my braces off!  It’s a really good feeling not having chunks of metal in my mouth 24/7.  I was getting really antsy towards the end because my sister had gotten her braces off months before I did, and I was honestly really jealous.  

So anyways, my orthodontist quickly replaced the metal in my mouth with…plastic!  In the form of removable retainers!  They’re not as bad as braces, but they do impair your speech and are a total hassle to deal with before and after meals.  And I, being a forgetful person, frequently misplace them after I take them out.  Luckily, I can easily find them after a little looking — on most occasions.

The other day, my mom, my sister, my grandparents and I went to a Korean BBQ place for lunch.  I was bragging to my mom about how I remember to wear my retainers on a regular basis whereas my sister doesn’t.  It wasn’t until 3 hours after our meal that I realized I had left my retainers at the restaurant, folded in a napkin.  My mom and I went back to the restaurant immediately to ask the waitress if she had seen them.  She hadn’t.  Then we asked if we could check the trash can.  The lady was hesitant at first — why let stranger dig through the trash? — but she could tell my mom was furious.  As was to be expected; retainers aren’t cheap, at around $250 for each of the two pieces.

The ladies at the restaurant were surprisingly accommodating, and it was nice of them to actually let us dig around in the big trash can in the kitchen.  

Luckily, after a few minutes of digging through half-eaten meals, leftover meat and decomposing rice, I found them.  Gross.

I went home and sterilized them about 20 times with rubbing alcohol and soap and toothpaste.

Don’t leave your retainers at restaurants.