Lady holding retainers after braces

Why Do Retainers Matter After Braces?

13 September 2023

Congratulations! You’ve completed your braces journey, and your smile now shines with a newfound confidence. But before you bid farewell to your orthodontic treatment, there’s an essential topic we must discuss: orthodontic retainers. Many people underestimate the importance of retainers, assuming that the hard work is over once the braces come off. 

Orthodontic retainers are custom-made dental appliances designed to maintain the position of your newly aligned teeth after braces. While braces effectively move your teeth into their desired positions, they haven’t settled into their new homes just yet. Your teeth have a memory of their original locations and tend to shift back if not properly secured. 

Let’s see what might happen if you neglect to wear them.

  • Teeth Shifting: The most immediate consequence of not wearing retainers is the gradual shifting of teeth. They may start to crowd, overlap, or become misaligned again.
  • Discomfort and Pain: As your teeth shift, you might experience discomfort and pain similar to what you felt during your initial orthodontic treatment.
  • Aesthetic Concerns: The shift in your teeth can negatively impact your smile’s aesthetics, affecting your self-esteem and confidence.
  • Expense and Time: Addressing relapse can be costly and time-consuming, potentially requiring a return to orthodontic treatment.
  • Oral Health Issues: Misaligned teeth can lead to oral health issues, including difficulty cleaning between teeth, increased risk of gum disease, and even jaw problems.

Retainers help stabilise your teeth in their corrected positions. They act as guardians, ensuring that your teeth don’t revert to their previous misaligned state. Without retainers, there’s a risk of relapse, where teeth slowly move back to their original positions. This can lead to all your hard work during braces treatment going to waste. Orthodontic treatment can be a significant financial and time investment. Wearing retainers is a way to protect that investment and maintain your beautiful smile for years to come.

Orthodontic retainers are not the final chapter in your orthodontic journey but a vital one. At Donna Lim Orthodontics, the retention stage of your orthodontic treatment will be discussed with you. Retainers play a critical role in ensuring that your newly aligned smile remains stable and beautiful. Neglecting to wear your retainers could lead to the undoing of all the hard work and dedication you put into your braces treatment. Embrace your retainers, wear them as directed, and enjoy a lifetime of confident and well-aligned teeth. Your future self will thank you for it!

Virtual Consultation with Donna Lim Orthodontics

Would you like to know if you would benefit from orthodontic treatment? Just upload a few photos of your teeth for us to assess virtually!

Auckland Smiles

created by Dr Donna Lim

Our specialist orthodontist memberships and partners