Do I Have To Wear My Retainer After I Get My Braces Off?

3 smiling cartoon girls in braces
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

If you have recently gotten your braces removed, you’re now the proud owner of a retainer. You may be asking yourself, “Do I have to wear my retainer after I get my braces off?” The short answer is yes, and at Helotes Family Dentistry in Helotes, TX we’re here to explain just how important it is that you wear your retainer after your braces are removed.

What is a Retainer?

A retainer is an orthodontic appliance that keeps your teeth in place after your braces have been removed. You’ll get a retainer after finishing your treatment whether you straighten your teeth with traditional braces or with Invisalign. Your retainer will be removable. Depending on your situation, it might be made of wires and plastic or it might be a clear aligner. Retainers are custom made to fit your mouth perfectly and keep your teeth from shifting into misalignment. If you take proper care of your retainer by cleaning it regularly, it can last a long time.

Do I Have to Wear My Retainer?

It is absolutely vital that you wear your retainer after you get your braces off. Once you get your braces off, your teeth have nothing holding them in proper alignment so they will start to gradually shift back into their natural place. A retainer is meant to stop that movement so that your teeth don’t become crooked or misaligned again. How often you wear your retainer depends on your specific situation. Most people need to wear their retainer every night. It’s important that you get your retainer checked every once in a while by Helotes Family Dentistry so we can make sure it’s up to date based on your alignment needs.

What Happens if I Don’t Wear My Retainer?

If you don’t wear your retainer, your teeth probably will not remain straight. Your teeth move once your braces are removed because your gums and teeth are very flexible. Without the clear aligners or the wires and brackets of braces holding them in place, your teeth will move back into their original position and you’ll be right where you started before you had braces. If you don’t wear your retainer you’ll likely be back in the office down the road for another round of orthodontics.

Call Helotes Family Dentistry with Questions

Misalignment is not just about straight teeth. Crooked or misaligned teeth can lead to serious oral health issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw issues. Be sure to wear your retainer so you keep your smile healthy and straight! Lost or broken retainer? Don’t wait to get it replaced. Give us a call right away.

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Helotes Family Dentistry

Helotes Family Dentistry