BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — Parents understand just how often kids lose their belongings.
So one Maryland orthodontist decided not to punish the parents when their child loses their retainer, but instead use that moment as a teaching opportunity and have some fun, too.
Dr. Stephen Godwin, of Bel Air Orthodontics, has an interesting lost retainer policy — he has a one-time only offer for a replacement and it’s a little homework for the patient.
So, you lost your retainer… what’s the next step?
The good news is that we can replace your missing retainer. The bad news is that you’re not the first or the last patient to lose or break a retention appliance. That’s why we have created a one-time-only offer for replacement.
OPTION 1: The cost of replacing your retainer(s) is $175.
OPTION 2: Write a one-page TYPEWRITTEN story that explains how you lost your reatiner(s). The story does not have to be true. In fact, we only have one requirement… the story has to make us laugh, so have fun and get creative! In addition to the one-page, typewritten story, you (and yes, we mean someone other than Mom) must bake us one dozen HOMEMADE (that means no store-bought) cookies or other treats. After all, we want you to earn your new retainers!
Godwin said he can’t take credit for this unique idea, but learned about it from another orthodontist at a conference.
“We thought that it helped kids recognize the value of their retainer,” he said, “but we didn’t want to punish the parent.”
Godwin, who’s own the practice since 2002, said three to five children lose their retainers each week.
“We tell the kids they have options,” he added, “and we get a lot of cookies.”
They have gotten gourmet homemade cookies and Godwin said there are some talented bakers out there.
He said he does try every cookie, brownie or treat they get, but rice crispy treats are his favorite!
Most of the time, the child will write the story and get a little help from mom or dad on the treats.
Although they get the new retainer immediately, they have three weeks to turn in the homework.
Once the office gets their stories, one of the staffers actually puts the stories in binders that are kept in the waiting room, for other patients to read.