After months of careful care and regular visits, your braces are ready to come off — now what? If you’re like most people with freshly straightened teeth, you’re probably wondering how to ensure your newly perfected grin stays exactly as it should. Thankfully, retainers can help keep your teeth just the way you like them and ensure all that time and effort wasn’t a waste.
What Are Retainers?
A retainer is a custom-fitted mouthpiece designed to keep your bite and teeth in the proper alignment. You wear it regularly to ensure your teeth stay where they should be. How long do you have to wear retainers after the braces come off? Your orthodontist will let you know, but the details below are a good starting point.
How Long Do You Have to Wear Retainers Each Day?
There are many different protocols when it comes to wearing a retainer after braces. Some orthodontists feel patients should wear a retainer full-time after treatment, while others take it on a case-by-case basis. At a very minimum, you’ll need to wear a retainer at night to help keep the teeth in alignment and prevent issues while you’re asleep. And, yes… It is important to wear it every night from the first moment your braces come off!
How Long Do You Have to Wear Retainers Over Time?
The amount of time each day you’ll spend wearing retainers after your braces come off varies. However, expect to wear one permanently for the rest of your life. Why? Whether your orthodontist chooses to fit you with a removable retainer just at night or a fixed retainer permanently, there will always be a need to keep your teeth from moving back to where they were when you started.
Since your specific needs will be different from anyone else’s, the best way to answer the question of how long do you have to wear retainers is to check with your treatment team. As we’ve mentioned, a retainer is a permanent part of life after braces. But the better question is really the type and total hours a day you’ll need to wear one. Get in touch today to start talking about improving your smile with braces, and you’ll be ready for retainers in no time. We understand how important your smile is and are committed to helping you get the look you want.