BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — An orthodontist in Maryland is encouraging his patients to get creative when they lose their retainer by giving them a fun assignment.

Replacing a retainer for some patients can cost up to $500, but in Bel Air, it will cost you a smile and a cookie.

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“The number one reason for losing a retainer is trash in the cafeteria. It seems to end up — it’s like a magnet for a trash can in the cafeteria,” orthodontist Stephen Godwin said.

It’s an expensive and common mistake, so Dr. Godwin decided to get creative to help out his patients.

It’s a one-time offer that requires a typewritten story. It doesn’t have to be true, but it has to make the staff laugh and come with homemade cookies or treats.


“It really teaches the kid the value of a retainer, teaches them responsibility. We want to avoid punishing the parent. They just finished paying for the braces,” Godwin said.

Over the years, Bel Air Orthodontics has collected hundreds of clever stories.

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“I think that’s why we love our practice. because we do make it fun, we want the patients to come in feeling relaxed, part of our orthodontic family,” Public Relations Coordinator Sherry Dillinger said.

From alien abductions to the cookie monster, they’ve heard it all.

“For some odd reason, sharks are attracted to the retainers, and dogs, dogs love retainers,” Dr. Godwin said.

He says he hopes to one day publish these stories, possibly when he retires.

Dr. Godwin’s patients range in age from seven to 70 years old.

[H/T CBS Baltimore]

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