How Long Should You Wear Your Retainer After Braces
A retainer is part of the retention phase of your treatment. Its purpose is to keep teeth from moving or returning to the previous position they were in before braces. The retention phase here at Hiser Orthodontics may last as long as 24 months but varies and is specific to each patient and their needs.
The retention phase allows for the possibility of your teeth settling and helps to keep your teeth in the proper place from your orthodontic treatment. However, any living tissue always has the opportunity to change and shift at any point during your lifetime. Habits (such as nail and lip biting) and even natural aging may cause unwanted movement in your teeth. Even the way in which you move your lips and tongue regularly could cause changes in the position of your teeth over time. When instructed to wear a retainer by your orthodontist, it is crucial that you do. This way all of your correction treatment has not gone to waste!
Although you may be instructed to wear a retainer for a certain period of time, that time does not guarantee that your orthodontic work will stay unchanged. Unfortunately, because of the constant possibility for movement and shifts in your teeth, the only way to ensure that your teeth do not move, is to maintain lifetime retention. So although you may be instructed to wear your retainer for 6, 12 or 24 months, it’s never a bad idea to continue wearing your retainer regularly, perhaps each night while you’re sleeping.
The alternative to having a retainer that you can insert and wear at night, is to have a permanent retainer(s) inserted behind your teeth. A permanent retainer will keep your teeth from moving and will eliminate the hassle of having to remember to put in your retainer every night. Permanent retainers can’t be seen and will become unnoticeable to you after a short time of getting used to it being there.
Although wearing a retainer may seem tasking, over time it will become habit and will ensure that your smile stays beautiful for a long time!
For more information about our clear retainers or to speak with one of our team members at Hiser Orthodontics, contact us today!