Should You Pack Your Retainer for College?

The big adventure of college is right around the corner! In a few weeks, you’ll be moving into your dorm, meeting your roommate, and starting new classes. But before all that excitement begins, you will need to pack! It’s a daunting task to fit everything you’ll need for the upcoming semester into a small dorm room, and you might find yourself wondering, “Do I really need to pack this old retainer?”  

We are here to tell you that the answer is YES!  In fact, we recommend wearing your retainer forever.

Why is it important to wear your retainer every night?

Teeth are attached to your gums and surrounding structures through various fibers and ligaments that keep them tightly anchored in their respective places. However, during orthodontic treatment, these fibrous linkages become loose due to the forces generated by the braces or orthodontic appliances. Once treatment is completed, the teeth can rapidly shift back to their original position. Teeth have memory, and, over time, they will move unless they are stopped from doing so by wearing a retainer.

If you don’t wear your retainer on a nightly basis, your months, or even years, of orthodontic treatment may end up going to waste. Don’t give up your beautiful, straight smile just because you don’t want to seem uncool! 

How quickly will your teeth shift if you don’t wear a retainer?

Teeth can shift out of place in a matter of days, which is why it is so important to wear your retainer on a nightly basis. You certainly won’t be able to get away with only putting in your retainer when you’re home for the holidays!  

If you miss a couple of days during the hustle and bustle of back to school, it shouldn’t be an issue.  As long as you don’t miss more than a week, your retainer will probably be able to push your teeth back into proper position.  

However, if your retainer no longer fits, make an appointment to visit our office as soon as possible! The worst thing you can do is wait to come into our office until your teeth have had even more time to shift. If you haven’t been wearing your retainer, go ahead and make an appointment to come in before you head off to college.

When you’re packing up in the next few weeks, be sure to include that retainer (and supplies to keep your retainer clean)! It may seem “dorky,” but there’s nothing cooler than a straight smile.