Breaking Up with Your Retainer: What Happens 2 Years Later?
Oral Health Blog

Breaking Up with Your Retainer: What Happens 2 Years Later?


Breaking up with your retainer doesn't mean forgetting about it entirely. Two years later, without proper care, your retainer could accumulate plaque, bacteria, and stains, leading to unpleasant odors and potential oral health issues. However, using a purple persulfate-free retainer cleaner can keep it in top shape. This specialized cleaner ensures gentle yet thorough cleaning, preserving your retainer's integrity and your oral health. So, even after parting ways, maintaining a clean retainer with the right cleaner ensures a healthier smile down the road.

What happens if I stop wearing my retainer after 2 years?

1. Teeth May Begin to Shift

One of the primary purposes of wearing a retainer is to prevent teeth from shifting back to their original positions. When you stop wearing your retainer after two years or any extended period, your teeth might gradually start to move. This process is often referred to as "retainer relapse."

2. Reversal of Orthodontic Progress

Orthodontic treatment is a significant investment in both time and money. If you discontinue retainer use, you risk reversing the progress made during your treatment. Your teeth may revert to their pre-treatment positions, leading to a less desirable smile.

3. Potential for Misalignment

Beyond aesthetics, misaligned teeth can also impact your bite and overall oral health. Stopping retainer use might lead to issues like malocclusion (improper bite) or difficulty chewing, which could require further orthodontic treatment to correct.

4. Discomfort and Readjustment

If you decide to resume retainer wear after a prolonged break, you may experience discomfort as your teeth readjust to the retainer's pressure. It can take time for your teeth to return to their previous alignment, and you may need orthodontic assistance to achieve this.

5. Lengthier Treatment the Second Time Around

Should your teeth significantly shift after discontinuing retainer use, you may need to undergo additional orthodontic treatment to correct the misalignment. This can result in an extended treatment timeline and additional costs.

6. Importance of Consistency

The key to maintaining your orthodontic results is consistency. Orthodontists typically recommend wearing your retainer as instructed, which often includes full-time wear initially and then transitioning to nighttime wear. Sticking to this routine is essential to preventing retainer relapse.


In summary, stopping retainer wear after two years or any extended period can lead to various consequences, including teeth shifting, misalignment, discomfort, and potentially the need for further orthodontic treatment. To safeguard your investment in a beautifully aligned smile, it's crucial to follow your orthodontist's recommendations regarding retainer wear diligently.

Are you currently using or thinking about using retainer cleaning tablets? It's important to be aware that certain cleaner brands have the potential to cause toxic reactions.

It's crucial to be aware of harmful ingredients hiding in common cleaner brands. One such persulfate, which can pose SERIOUS health risks and is found in almost all leading retainer cleaners brands. Moreover, persulfate's health risks potentially impact respiratory health and skin sensitivities in your family, especially in teens and sensitive individuals. Learn more about the risk of persulfate HERE



The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the information provided in this article.