After your braces are removed, your orthodontic experience does not end. It is critical to wear your retainer according to your orthodontist’s instructions. If you do not wear your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist, your teeth may revert to their previous position, negating the gains gained throughout your orthodontic treatment. In this article, we’ll address the question, “what happens if you don’t wear retainers after braces?”



Importance of following the Orthodontic Process

The time immediately following the removal of your braces is the most critical for keeping your teeth straight. Wearing a retainer for the time prescribed by our team is the best way to maintain the smile you have worked so hard to achieve. If you neglect to wear your retainer, your teeth may move back into their original position. This may happen if you do not wear your retainer after treatment with braces.

Relapsing in Orthodontic Treatment

how to wear orthodontic retainersWhen your teeth revert to their previous locations, this is referred to as a relapse. This is because your gum tissue is still tender and adjusting to your teeth’s new location. Without the force exerted by the braces, your teeth might easily revert to their original positions.

While infrequent retainer use is not necessarily the cause of a relapse, it is the most frequently cited reason. Many patients underestimate the value of retainers, but the reality is that therapy does not end when the braces or aligners are removed. After the initial phase of therapy is completed, the teeth, surrounding bone, and gums require time to consolidate in their new places. A retainer protects the teeth from forces that seek to reposition them and stabilizes them over time.

This can be avoided by wearing your retainer 24 hours a day for the first few months following the removal of your braces. Once your gums have adjusted to their new position, your orthodontist will permit you to wear your retainers overnight. Although your teeth will be more stable and your chance of relapse will be lower at this point, you must continue wearing your retainers for the remainder of your life if you want to keep your beautiful smile for life.

No Retainers: What Happens

When a patient doesn’t wear their retainers, the effects tend to accumulate over time:

After One Week 

Your teeth will begin to move back into their initial place as soon as your braces are removed. Everyone’s teeth shift at different speeds, and even the slightest shift can impact how your retainer fits. Wearing your retainer at night is especially crucial in the first week to prevent any relapse.

After One Month 

After a month of not using your retainer, you may notice that your bite has changed and your teeth have started to move back into their original position. At this point, you will need to schedule another appointment with our team to get fitted for a different retainer. You may also need to return to wearing your new retainer during the day and at night.

After One Year 

dental retainers useGoing a year without wearing a retainer means that your teeth will have continued to move back to their original position and may even be crooked. The solution may be to restart treatment with braces. By wearing your retainer as instructed, you can prevent this from happening.

What do you do if you Last wore your Retainer a Month Ago?

You shouldn’t start wearing your retainer right away if you haven’t worn it for a month or longer. You run the risk of hurting yourself if you try to push your retainer in forcefully. Your teeth could have already started to move back to their natural positions. If you last used your aligners a month ago, be careful and don’t force them in. Consult your dentist.

It no longer fits properly if you have to press your retainer back onto your teeth. The same is true if you leave your retainer in an overheated car. You will undoubtedly need to replace it if it does not fit over your teeth correctly.

Wearing a retainer after months

effects of not wearing retainersAfter a few minutes of wearing your newly found retainer, discomfort might occur. If this happens, remove the retainer immediately and never put it back on. This shows that your teeth have undergone a considerable shift and that using your old retainer will cause tooth damage.

Make an appointment to get your teeth realigned with your dentist. The cost to move your teeth will increase the longer you put it off. A painful retainer may cause a tooth’s nerves to die and become irreversibly damaged, requiring oral surgery. You may need a new pair of retainers to keep your teeth in place if they have moved around a lot and your old ones are hurting you.


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Agatha Hansen

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