A note to my 15 year old self about orthodontic retainers

To my 15 year old self…..

Having orthodontic treatment as a teenager is something many people may have experienced. Myself included. Except I have had orthodontic treatment twice. Twice? Why would I want to endure the time and cost associated with braces for a second time?

Well,  when I was 15, I wasn’t paying for my orthodontic treatment.  I wasn’t the one taking time off work to travel an hour and a half each way every month. To my mind, I was getting time off school and a trip to the skate park.

Despite my parents regularly reminding me how lucky I was to be having ortho treatment, I simply didn’t care. During my bratty and ungrateful teenagers years I was blind to the truth about how much my future self really would love and appreciate healthy straight teeth. Not only due to aesthetic reasons but functionality and for the long term better heath of my mouth.

I had my braces removed before starting senior school at Chinchilla, when I began living at the hostel. Within a few months of finishing school I moved to Chinchilla permanently. I gained employment at Chinchilla Dental Practice in 2012 and have been a Dental Assistant for 6 years. I have learned the importance of teeth and have a deeper understanding of how significant teeth really are.  I love the industry and love giving friends and family my full knowledge and attention with anything teeth related.

I know exactly how hard it is to clarify to a teenager about how lucky they really are. Parents want the best outcome for their children and when they can, to give the opportunity to have straight teeth. Cooperation and compliance is required for the best outcome.

Long term retention for braces is essential. Where compliance with instructions falters, teeth will move.  This is what happened to me. I got tired of wearing my clear overlay retainers after about 2 years and completely stopped wearing them. When I am speaking to patients, friends and family about orthodontic treatment and retention I hope that somehow I can help prevent this happening to others.


Working at Chinchilla Dental Practice I always express the importance of retention to all our new and existing ortho patients. I plead with them to appreciate the effort put in by parents as well as your dentist.  Learn from my mistakes.

Appreciate your orthodontic treatment as others can only dream of having that opportunity.

By Jennay Obst

Cert IV Dental Assistant