Braces take a good amount of time to get your teeth straightened out. It wasn’t necessarily a “fun” process, but the results were completely worth it. Your smile is stunning, your bite is perfect, and the added health benefits aren’t too shabby either. After treatment, your orthodontist provided you with your very own customized retainer. After more than a year of wearing an orthodontic appliance, you question whether it’s necessary to add another one to your repertoire. After all, what could possibly happen to your teeth without a retainer?

Well, for starters, you could undo all the good your orthodontic treatment did.

What are retainers good for, anyway?


You didn’t go through braces (or Invisalign) treatment just to have your teeth shift back to where they were originally…did you? We didn’t think so. That’s why we provide a retainer after your treatment is finished. A retainer does what it’s named after–namely, retaining the position of your teeth.

Forgetting to wear your retainer for one or two nights isn’t going to be the end of the world. However, continued negligence can cause your teeth to start moving. If left for too long, you may need to go back for braces, again. And since you just finished braces treatment, doing it again seems a little redundant.

Can my retainers realign my teeth?

The short answer is “no.” Sort of. According to Colgate, if your teeth have only shifted a little bit and it hasn’t been too long, your retainer may be able to shift your teeth back into place. That is, if your bone tissue hasn’t grown and solidified around your teeth. So while it’s technically possible, leaving it for too long will not leave you with that option. 

At Midlands Orthodontics, Dr. Herrington advises you to wear your retainer every night. Your smile took a lot of work and patience to get it exactly the way you wanted it to be. Your retainer will help keep it that way. 

If you have any questions about your retainer, don’t hesitate to ask us at your next appointment! Our team is always happy to help!