I Stopped Wearing My Retainer, Now What?


Naturally, you’re going to be very excited once your orthodontic treatment is complete. Not only will you not have to have braces or aligners in your mouth, but you’ll get to see your new smile. However, you aren’t quite done. You will need to wear a retainer to, well, retain your new smile. So, what happens if you stop wearing your retainer?

Why it’s Important to Wear a Retainer

Once braces are removed, or when you stop wearing aligners with Invisalign, your orthodontist will prescribe a retainer to wear. It’s incredibly important to keep wearing this retainer for the full length and duration that it is prescribed to you. Your teeth will naturally be inclined to move back to their original positions after your braces or aligners are taken out. This is especially true for the first two weeks after your braces are out, but it remains true afterward as well.

Some patients may simply forget to wear their retainer. Sometimes, they decide it isn’t worth the trouble and stop wearing it on purpose. Retainers can also break, become warped by heat, or get lost if you aren’t careful.

What Not to Do if You Stopped Wearing Your Retainer

If you stopped wearing your retainer for a substantial amount of time, you shouldn’t just attempt to start wearing it again. Your teeth may have already started to shift back towards their original positions, and if you try to force your retainer in, you could hurt yourself. Your retainer should fit easily, so if you have to force it back on your teeth, it likely isn’t a good fit anymore. The same goes for if you left your retainer in a hot car. If it doesn’t fit over your teeth like it normally does, you’ll likely have to get a replacement.

What to Do If You Stop Wearing Your Retainer

You should make an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as you can if something happened to your retainer. Ideally, you should get a replacement retainer right away if you broke or lost your retainer. Even if you skipped out on wearing your retainer for a while and your teeth have started to shift, you may still be able to get by with a new retainer.

However, some patients need orthodontic treatment again if their teeth have regressed significantly. Luckily, patients can get the corrections they need with accelerated treatments. Invisalign Lite is a great choice for patients whose teeth have regressed. This shortened version of Invisalign can be completed in just six to eight months. If you only need very minor adjustments to get your teeth back on track, you can choose an even shorter version called Invisalign Express. This treatment is done in just 10 to 20 weeks.

If you stopped wearing your retainer for any reason, scheduling a consultation with a Midlothian orthodontist is the best first step to take toward getting your teeth back on track.