What Happens to Your Teeth If You Don’t Wear Your Retainer as Prescribed

Dr. Emanuel Mizrahi, retainer, Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates, Forest Hills, New York

You, or your child, have sacrificed a lot for your perfect teeth. Time, money, discomfort, and giving up certain foods you enjoyed were all part of your journey to a beautiful smile. Just about the time you thought your braces were never coming off, they’re gone, and in their place, you’ve been given a retainer. And you thought you were done with orthodontics.

Well, in a way you are. The worst of it is over, providing you wear your retainer as prescribed. Your retainer is the one sure way to prevent your teeth from shifting, and wearing your retainer is not optional if you want to keep your beautiful straight teeth as perfect as they are the day your braces are removed. After all that you’ve sacrificed for your newly straightened teeth, it seems like such a small thing to maintain your smile by wearing your retainer as prescribed.

What is a retainer?

A retainer is a supportive orthodontic appliance that keeps your teeth in place after your braces are removed. Your braces have accomplished their work. They’ve managed to move your teeth, long held in place by bone and ligaments, into a straight and healthy position, making sure your bite is as it should be.

As you went about normal day-to-day activities, like eating and chewing, with your braces in place, your teeth were held firmly in position. Now, without the support of your braces, your roots can shift and return to their previous misaligned position, doing away with all of the hard work that your braces did. When you wear a retainer, the teeth are supported in place.

Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates offers a few different types of retainers, depending on your lifestyle. There’s the traditional retainer, which fits snugly into your mouth, with a wire that holds your teeth in place. For those looking for a less obvious retainer, we have custom-fit, clear aligners. A great choice for those who want an easy, worry-free option, the fixed retainer works well.

Why you need to wear your retainer as prescribed

No matter what type of retainer you choose, it will take a few days to get used to it. You could experience some minimal discomfort, but it will go away within a few days. Whatever you do, do not opt to go without wearing your retainer. Follow your instructions to the letter. Maintain and care for your retainer to ensure it will always be ready to hold your teeth in place.

If you accidentally forget to wear your removable retainer for a day or two, don’t worry too much. Resume your retainer regimen as instructed, and you should be fine. If it’s been longer than that, such as weeks, or even months, try it on to see if it still fits. If not, you’ll need to schedule a visit to Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates right away.

A retainer that doesn’t fit, or is snug and uncomfortable, after not being worn for a while means your teeth have shifted. The longer you go without wearing your retainer, the more likely it is that your bone tissue has grown to support the new position of your teeth. Your smile is no longer as straight as it was after your braces, and your bite is likely also off. All your time and investment could be lost if you fail to wear your retainer as prescribed.

Amazing orthodontic results

At Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates, Dr. Emanuel Mizrahi takes your, or your child’s,  orthodontic care seriously. His extreme attention to detail, and long-standing experience, combined with compassion and care, means your results are going to be amazing. Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates is located in Forest Hills, New York. We provide cutting-edge treatment in a friendly and positive environment. Our support staff strives to make your orthodontic experience the best. Contact Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates today for more information.

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