One of the most frequently asked questions from patients is, “How long must I wear a retainer after braces come off?” The answer: the ever-infuriating non-answer of it varies from person to person.
- Bone and tissue structure
- The degree of correction
Must all be considered when advising patients how often and for how long they should wear their retainer.
Most often, it is recommended that a retainer is worn continuously for several months or even as long as a year after braces come off, taking it out only to eat, clean, and brush your teeth.
After a few months most patients are able to decrease the frequency in which they wear a retainer, often only wearing it in the evenings and while sleeping.
1 Year +
Wearing a retainer daily may be required for several years in order to allow the bone and tissue to grow around the teeth in their new position. This is a pretty standard practice for most orthodontists to patients.
3 Years +
After the first few years teeth are less likely to move as the bones and tissues have set. However, some patients may find that daily use of wearing his or her retainer is required in order to keep their teeth from moving. Others may be just fine only wearing a retainer a few times a week. Still others may only require wearing it a few times a month. The ultimate question of “How long?” must be answered individually.
How to Know
Pay close attention to the fit of your retainer. You can determine how often to wear it and for how long by testing the fit at least once a week. If it fits more snug than it used to, that is an indication that your teeth are moving and you should increase the frequency and maybe the duration of retainer use.
Develop a pattern that works best for you so that you are most likely to succeed. Keep the retainer next to your toothbrush or even on the nightstand so you don’t forget about it. If you drive a lot that may be a good time to wear it. Even though most patients hardly look forward to wearing a retainer, it is very important to do so in order to keep your teeth straight and your smile beautiful.
Schaumburg Dental Studio
At SDS we offer an array of services, including orthodontic braces, dentures, bridges, teeth whitening, dental implants, porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers, porcelain bridges, and composite fillings.
Are you looking for a new dentist? Do you need oral care that you can be proud of for years? The team at SDS wants to you to join our smiling community. You can read more about our services and meet our team here, or schedule an appointment online.