Wearing braces is hard work, especially for teens. Regardless of what type of braces you have, it still takes some time and patience to get used to the new feeling in your mouth. On top of that, you have to adopt a whole new routine as your teeth will need extra maintenance during this time. But at the end of the day it’s all worth it because your teeth will be in better shape for the rest of your life. That is, so long as you follow your orthodontist’s instructions about wearing your retainer.
It’s a momentous event when braces get removed but it isn’t the end of your straightening process. Wearing a retainer for some time will almost always be required after treatment. However, it can be difficult to convince patients of the importance of wearing a retainer as prescribed. That’s why we wanted to answer one of the most common questions in our business.
What Happens If You Stop Wearing Your Retainer?
Wearing a retainer is essential to keeping your teeth in their new positions. Braces are designed to do all the heavy lifting and then retainers help keep your teeth in place until your mouth fully adjusts. Even though it might not seem all that significant, it’s important to follow your orthodontist’s instructions to the letter.
In the worst case scenario, limited to no retainer use may undo all the work done by braces re-aligning your teeth. This could make the months or years of braces amount to nothing and put you right back to square one. Even when retainers are worn but not as regularly as they should, you’re still likely to find your teeth shifting in small amounts. Any movement can be enough to raise health concerns and may lead to bite misalignment or overcrowding.
Without regular use you might also find your retainer is uncomfortable or won’t even fit anymore! This is dangerous because it can easily discourage you from wearing your retainer at all, making you susceptible to more serious complications. Additionally, most retainers are made from plastic and wire and can be easily broken if not cared for. If you find yourself in this situation it is essential to get a replacement right away from your family orthodontist.