What happens when you stop wearing your retainer?

31 Jan
retainer

Ever wondered why retainers are prescribed? If yes, you must have always wondered what exactly happens once you stop wearing them and why orthodontists are so strict about their proper use. Keep reading ahead to find out more!

The main function of an orthodontic retainer is to hold or retain teeth in their place. Orthodontic treatments apply specific and precise force on your teeth and their surrounding structures to move them into their proper place. However, orthodontic treatments do not end once the teeth are straightened and are often followed by retainers.

At Wilmington Orthodontic Center, most of the retainers prescribed happen to be removable. This means they can be removed at will by the patient. Therefore, care instructions are given to ensure retainers are worn for the given time. This is done to ensure the success of orthodontic treatment and provide the teeth and their surrounding tissues time to adjust to the new location.

Now comes the most critical question - "What if I stop wearing my retainer?" 

Our teeth have a tendency to move back into their original places after completion of orthodontic treatment. They need time to stabilize and for the bone to form properly around the newly positioned teeth. This is why retainers are prescribed post orthodontic treatment. However, if you stop wearing your retainers, it will give the teeth the freedom to move, and relapse will occur. This means they can get crooked and come into misaligned positions again, and all the success with orthodontic treatment can be lost. You may even have to undergo the entire treatment protocol all over again if you wish to get your teeth fixed. Therefore, it is always advised to wear your retainers regularly and as instructed to ensure your pearly whites are straight and shining bright!