ZocdocAnswersWhat happens if I stop wearing my retainer?

Question

What happens if I stop wearing my retainer?

I got my braces out about two months ago, just lost my retainer. Will my teeth stay straight or do I hav eto get another? There expensive.

Answer

Congratulations on having your braces removed. It can occasionally be difficult to always remember to wear your retainer but it is necessary to keep your teeth in the same alignment for many years after having your braces removed. You should follow up with your orthodontist to evaluate your teeth and to help obtain a replacement retainer. Unfortunately, once your braces are off, if you do not use a retainer on a regular basis, in most cases your teeth will shift and move out of alignment. There are a few unusual cases when patients do not experience changes in their teeth despite not wearing their retainer, but this is rare. Because of the fact that teeth will move after braces removal, many orthodontists will place a small metal wire on the inside surface of the bottom teeth to help keep the teeth aligned without the daily use of a retainer. However, even this wire is not always perfect. If you want to keep your teeth straight, especially this soon after having your braces removed, you should obtain a replacement retainer. Many patients need to get touch up work and treatment when they are older because their teeth have moved as a result of not wearing retainers. You should follow up with your orthodontist to discuss your teeth and the best management for you case.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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