What Happens if You Stop Wearing Your Retainer


Throughout your orthodontic treatment, your focus is on getting the smile of your dreams. Once your treatment is over, you’re given a retainer to help maintain your new, beautiful smile for the rest of your life.

Sometimes, life happens, and you stop wearing your retainer. You may be wondering, “Does it really matter?” Our experts here at Family Orthodontics of Iowa are here to help you navigate what happens and what to do if you stop wearing your retainer.

Why it’s Important to Keep Wearing Your Retainer

Retainers, both removable retainers, and permanent retainers are designed to preserve your new, straight smile. You spent time investing in your orthodontic treatment to straighten crooked teeth, aid jaw growth, and fix your bite to help improve your smile and oral health.

Once you stop wearing your retainer, it’s normal for your teeth to want to go back to their original state. After you get your braces off, it’s important to think of wearing your retainer as a part of your regular dental care routine. Our orthodontists care about your smile and want to help you keep it forever!

I Stopped Wearing My Retainer, Now What?

If it’s been a long time since you’ve worn your retainer, don’t force it back onto your teeth. It’s likely your teeth have shifted, and it may be painful if you try to force your retainer to fit. In the case that your retainer doesn’t fit, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist.

Your orthodontist will evaluate how much your teeth have moved and determined if making a new retainer is necessary. They will assess your needs and discuss different types of retainers, such as a Hawley retainer or a clear retainer, and work with you to move your permanent teeth back into a straight, bright state.

If your teeth have shifted significantly since you’ve worn your retainer, your orthodontist may suggest orthodontic treatment. This could include traditional braces or Invisalign clear aligners, or a fixed appliance, such as a palatal expander, depending on the amount of movement is necessary for your smile to be straight once again.

Call to Schedule an Appointment with Your Orthodontist Today

At Family Orthodontics of Iowa, our team is here to help you with all of your smile needs. Contact our office today if you have questions about wearing your retainer or scheduling an appointment to you to get your smile back on track!

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