Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection
July 20, 2017

Maybe it’s because I can bear to imagine my teeth returning to their 7th grade state, or maybe it’s because I had to wait until the then-seemingly ancient age of 14 to even get braces and then had to wear them for nearly three years of high school. Regardless, I’m here to make the confession that I, Victoria Moorhouse, am obsessed with my retainer.

And I can’t be the only one…right?

I’ve always known I had a particular fondness for my clear plastic retainers, ever since my hunky orthodontist handed me the molds and told me to wear them all day, every day for a few months. They signified freedom from the constraints of the brackets stuck to my teeth—the ones that made me give up chewing gum and were magnets for tomato sauce and Cheez-Its. They were nearly invisible, and they kept my $7000 worth of dental work in check while allowing me to see the entirety of my canines. Love at first sight, if you will.

I came across this realization when I was talking to a friend at the airport about how, for safe keeping, I only travel with them in my carry-on in fear of them shattering in my cosmetics case. Yes, I’m paranoid, but I’d rather spend $300 on new shoes. She, too, expressed her love and affection for her retainers.

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When I was told I only had to wear them at night, I weaned off with hesitation. Every night, I’d pop them in and keep them stored safe and sound in their bubblegum pink plastic case in my bedroom during the day. I developed an intense cleansing routine for my retainers, researching everything that would leave the plastic sterile but also clear and totally in-tact. I still follow it to this day.

You might not be as passionate about your retainers as I am, but I’m sure you have an opinion on them, especially if you had braces. There’s no way I can be the only one. Like Flash Tattoos or flower crowns, they are polarizing.

Ask your friend about her retainer and she’s likely going to tell you a loaded story about how she lost them, how her mom yelled at her for not wearing them, why she doesn’t care about them, or just an explanation of the sheer pain that goes into putting them in after months of being MIA.

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And as ridiculous as this sounds, considering I’m waxing poetic about dental machinery right now, retainers are the victim of pop culture bullying, if you ask me. They get this rep of being really dorky and definitely not sexy, but they’re badass if you think about it. They’re stopping physics from wrecking havoc on your technologically-adjusted smile!

I’m 26 years old and a beauty editor, and honestly, they’re my favorite beauty accessory.

Ugh, my orthodontist would be so proud.

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