What Happens if I Stop Wearing My Retainers?

Man smiling outside and looking sideways while texting on his phoneWe understand that it is not always second-nature to remember to wear your retainer. However, too many people ignore or simply forget the specific rules regarding their retainer, and may even abandon their retainers altogether. Often, these patients believe their retainer is just a precaution, and that their teeth will stay in place without it—but these individuals may find out soon enough that their teeth have moved back to the position they were in before orthodontic treatment. This is a frustrating discovery that makes many patients feel they have wasted time and money on the entire process, but it can be avoided by following the guidelines of retainer wear and care. 

So how do you prioritise wearing and taking care of your retainer? Concentrating on the final outcome is a good place to start. Retainers are often considered the most important part of the orthodontic procedure because they are meant to finalise the work that has already been done. After you have worn your retainer for the directed amount of time, you should have a straighter, more beautiful smile to look forward to, making the process well worth it.

For those who have never worn one, a retainer is a custom-made appliance designed to keep your teeth in position after your braces, Invisalign® aligners, or other orthodontic appliances come out. After certain procedures, patients may be advised to wear the retainer for a minimum of four to six months. Other times, patients may be instructed to wear them for the rest of their lives, at least at night. The amount of time varies, but one thing is for certain: wearing your retainer as directed is essential if you want to maintain the new alignment of your teeth and bite.

Taking good care of your retainer is just as important as wearing it! When caring for your retainer, remember to always:

  • Brush it thoroughly with a toothbrush to keep it clean
  • Gently take it out when done wearing it each time
  • Hold it carefully to avoid cracks or breaks
  • Keep it in its case when not in use 

If you make a concerted effort to wear and preserve your retainer, it’s not as hard, or as tedious, as it may appear. Our team at The Paddington Dental Surgery is here to make the entire process as smooth as possible for you. If you have gone too long without wearing your retainer and have noticed your teeth shifting, you may be a good candidate for Invisalign. In addition, porcelain veneers can often be used for those with mild misalignment concerns. For more information, please feel free to contact us today!

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