Can Neglecting Your Retainer Alter Your Face Shape?
Oral Health Blog

Can Neglecting Your Retainer Alter Your Face Shape?


Retainers are essential for maintaining the alignment of your teeth after orthodontic treatment. While most people understand that not wearing a retainer can lead to teeth shifting, many are unaware of potential effects on their facial structure. In this article, we will explore whether neglecting your retainer can change your face shape.

1. Teeth and Facial Balance:

Your teeth play a crucial role in maintaining the balance and symmetry of your face. Teeth that are well-aligned support the lips and cheeks, contributing to an aesthetically pleasing facial appearance.

2. Shifting Teeth Affect Facial Balance:

When you stop wearing your retainer, your teeth can gradually shift. This shift doesn't just impact the appearance of your smile; it can also influence the overall balance of your face.

3. Dental Collapse:

Neglecting your retainer can lead to a condition known as dental collapse. This occurs when teeth shift and become crowded or misaligned, causing changes in facial proportions.

4. Sunken Cheeks:

As teeth shift, it can affect the support structure for your cheeks. This can lead to a sunken appearance in the cheek area, making you look older than you actually are.

5. Jaw Misalignment:

Teeth that move out of position can also contribute to jaw misalignment. This misalignment can affect your bite and the way your upper and lower jaws fit together, which in turn can impact your face shape.

6. Lip Support:

Properly aligned teeth provide support for your lips, maintaining their fullness and shape. Shifting teeth can lead to lip changes, making your lips appear less full.

7. Chin Position:

A stable bite with well-aligned teeth supports the proper position of your chin. Changes in tooth alignment can influence the position and appearance of your chin, affecting your overall face shape.

8. Self-Esteem Impact:

Beyond physical changes, the psychological impact of facial changes due to not wearing a retainer is significant. Many people feel self-conscious about alterations in their facial appearance.

9. Addressing the Issue:

To prevent face shape changes due to not wearing a retainer, it's essential to maintain your orthodontic regimen. Regular retainer use, as advised by your orthodontist, can help preserve the alignment of your teeth and the harmony of your facial features.

10. Seek Professional Guidance:

If you've neglected your retainer, it's advisable to consult your orthodontist. They can assess the current state of your teeth and recommend appropriate measures to prevent further changes in your facial structure.


While many individuals may not realize it, neglecting your retainer can indeed lead to changes in your face shape. It's not just about maintaining a straight smile; it's also about preserving the balance, proportions, and overall harmony of your facial features. To avoid these changes, be diligent about wearing your retainer as recommended by your orthodontist and consult them if you have concerns about your facial appearance.

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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.