Wearing a retainer is one of the most important things you can do after your braces treatment. But how long do you wear retainers for? We understand that it can be frustrating to need more orthodontic tools after your braces come off. However, wearing your retainers correctly is essential for maintaining your treatment. Read on to learn how to wear your retainers the right way.
Why Do You Need Retainers?
Braces and clear aligners (like Invisalign) work by gently putting pressure on the teeth in order to change their position. As you know from your braces treatment, this is not always comfortable. That’s because constant pressure is needed to gradually make shifts in the teeth. After all, your teeth don’t want to change their position! This means that they will gradually drift back towards their original spots in the mouth without a little bit of help. This is why retainers are needed: to retain the hard work that your braces did and to keep your teeth in their new positions.
How Long Do You Wear Retainers?
After your braces come off, you will need to wear your retainers for 24 hours a day, only removing them to eat and clean your teeth. This is because your teeth are the most likely to drift from their new alignment in the first few months after treatment. Depending on your treatment, you will need to wear your retainers full-time for 3 to 12 months.
After this period, you can start wearing your retainers only at night. Your orthodontist will tell you when you are ready to move onto this step. While it will be exciting to spend your days retainer-free, it is very important to remember your nighttime treatment. Even though the initial post-treatment months have passed, your teeth can still gradually shift without retainer usage.
Talk to Your Orthodontist
You now know how long you wear retainers. However, keep in mind that all patients are different. Your orthodontist can give you specific guidelines for your smile, so it’s important to consult him or her with any questions. Call Adventure Orthodontics to learn more about your retainer.