The Costs of Not Wearing Your Retainer


After two years, you did it. You are finally getting your braces off. All the chips, candy, and hard food you were missing can now be enjoyed again. However, now it’s time for the second hardest part, remembering to wear your retainer. You will probably get through the first month with ease because of the checkups and your parents’ reminders, but after that is where you may begin to struggle. If you don’t wear your retainer though, you could experience three consequences.

Teeth Begin to Move Instantly

If you do not wear your retainer, your teeth will move. The purpose of a retainer is to keep your newly straightened teeth from shifting after your braces are removed and are no longer holding them in place at all times. Your gums, tongue, and muscle constantly push and pull your teeth, which cause them to move. The general rule for the retainer is you should wear it for as long as you want your teeth to stay in place. The day you stop wearing your retainer is the day you risk having your teeth shift back into a crooked formation. Over long periods of time, the teeth in your mouth will return to a similar pre-brace, crooked state.

Your Teeth Relapse

Say, for instance, you didn’t wear your retainer, and now you have gaps between your teeth. At this point, your teeth have gone beyond minor movement and your teeth have shifted significantly. Your teeth are relapsing to their pre-braces positions. You can try to put your retainer back on, which can be painful and tight for a few days. The pain is a result of you putting the retainer back on your teeth that have already moved and forcing your teeth back into formation. If your retainer does not fit or it is too painful, you will need to go see your orthodontist because you may need to get braces again.

You Require Another Set of Braces

If you ignore the need to wear your retainer, you can undo all the work your braces did. Sometimes this results in people getting braces for a second time to re-correct their teeth. That means a second round of pain, not be able to eat hard food, and awkward moments debating how to smile for photos.

On top of it affecting you and your smile, it will also affect your parents. According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, the average cost of braces is approximately $3,000 to $7,000 dollars. Imagine how upset your parents will be if they have to pay for a second round of braces.

By not wearing your retainer, you are wasting all the hard, painful work you put into straitening your teeth by having braces. Remember all the times you had to tell your parent you broke a bracket or all the times you had to put a mountain of wax over that bracket because it was cutting your jaw. Wear your retainer and keep your perfect smile going strong.