How Often & How Long Do I Have to Wear My Retainer?

October 27, 2020 11:28 pm
Five smiling teenagers with straightened teeth standing together

Once orthodontic treatment is complete, celebrating and showing off a straight, beautiful smile is truly satisfying! However, you have to remember that you must put in some effort to keep your teeth looking that way. That’s where retainers come in!

Why Are Retainers Important?

Even though your teeth are where you want them after orthodontic treatment, you have to continue to put in effort to keep them in place. Just like any other part of the body, your teeth will start to relapse back to their old position due to muscle memory and natural movement over time. That’s why it’s crucial to continue to wear a retainer even after you have the finished product.

When Should I Wear My Retainer?

After you’ve straightened your smile, your knowledgeable orthodontist will walk you through the specific instructions for wearing a retainer. Usually, patients are asked to wear their retainer for three to six months at all times directly after they get their braces off. This time period is the most crucial for ensuring that the teeth don’t try to shift directly after treatment. Then, orthodontists usually recommend that patients wear their retainers at night while they sleep. Each patient is different and may have a unique set of requirements for their retention plan. Your orthodontist will create a plan for you based on your unique needs.

Types of Retainers

Two of the most common types of retainers are the plastic removable trays and permanent retainers. Your orthodontist will choose which retainer best suits your smile. While these two retainers look different, they offer the same general concept as far as dental retention goes!

Lost Retainer?

Did you misplace your retainer? No worries! It’s not uncommon for patients to misplace their retainers when they take them out to eat and talk. The best option is to place them in the case every time! Don’t wait to replace it though or your teeth may start to shift. Contact our team at Summit Family Orthodontics to create a new retainer for you!

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