South Yarra Orthodontics

Business Hours
Mon - Fri:
8:00am - 5:00pm

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

So, what are orthodontic retainers?

Orthodontic retainers are custom-made dental appliances designed to maintain the position of your newly aligned teeth after completing your braces or other orthodontic treatment. While orthodontic treatment effectively moves 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. 

Your orthodontic retainer might be a clear removable plate or a special little wire that is bonded to the back of your teeth.

What happens if you neglect to wear your retainers?

Your teeth might shift:

  • The most immediate consequence of not wearing retainers is gradually shifting teeth. They may start to crowd, overlap, or become misaligned again, or spaces can begin to re-open
  • You might feel some discomfort: 
  • As your teeth try to shift back to their previous position, you might experience discomfort and pain similar to what you felt during your initial orthodontic treatment.

You might have some aesthetic concerns:

  • The shift in your teeth can negatively impact your smile’s aesthetics, affecting your self-esteem and confidence.

You may need to re-do treatment:

  • Addressing relapse can be costly and time-consuming, potentially requiring a return to orthodontic treatment.

You may encounter some 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. All the issues you were addressing by having orthodontics in the first place!

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 so 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 South Yarra 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!