What Happens If I Stop Wearing My Retainers?

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Following orthodontic treatment, many patients are directed to wear a retainer in the months after their results are achieved. Using a retainer after braces and Invisalign® treatment is crucial to realigning a patient’s smile and bite. While it’s understandable for individuals to neglect wearing their retainers — especially after months of having braces or wearing their Invisalign® aligners — these dental tools should be worn as prescribed to prevent orthodontic relapse and prolong the longevity of your new smile.  

For those who have not gone through an orthodontic treatment process, you may not truly know what a retainer is or how the appliance works. A retainer is custom-made for each patient to wear after braces or Invisalign® to help preserve the jaw alignment achieved throughout your treatment. This prevents your smile from naturally shifting back to its original position. Most people are instructed to wear their retainers for at least four to six months, while others may have to wear their retainer nightly for the rest of their lives. 

Orthodontic Relapse: As mentioned above, orthodontic relapse is the phenomenon that occurs after the teeth begin to shift back to their original alignment. This can occur if individuals do not wear their retainers as instructed after their treatment has concluded. By choosing not to utilize their retainers, patients can leave their smile susceptible to orthodontic relapse. 

Solution: If orthodontic relapse has occurred, our practice offers Invisalign® and other discreet orthodontic solutions to restore a proper bite. However, minor misalignments may be corrected with porcelain veneers, which can be placed to address crooked, short, or uneven teeth. 

If you want to know more about Invisalign®, braces, or why it’s important to wear your retainers after orthodontic treatment, contact our practice today!

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