Toothy Questions: How Long Should I Wear my Retainer For? - Specialist Orthodontic Group : Specialist Orthodontic Group
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Toothy Questions: How Long Should I Wear my Retainer For?

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If you opt for a traditional teeth realignment treatment programme, you probably won’t miss out on the experience of having a removable retainer altogether.

After you’ve worn a traditional brace for the full treatment period, you will then almost certainly be fitted for a removable retainer.

Why do you need to wear a removable retainer after traditional braces? 

This secondary treatment is to ensure your teeth are firmly planted in their new position. The longer you wear your retainer for, the less likely it is that your teeth will relapse and slip back into poor alignment.

It’s natural for teeth to shift over time. The good news is that wearing a retainer as instructed by your orthodontist will prevent this from happening.

When should you wear it?

Your orthodontist will advise you on your individual case. In general, we advise you wear your retainer for the evening and bedtime (12 hours in total) for the first three months after your braces are removed. After this, just bedtime wear suffices. At the end of 9 months, wearing your retainer a couple of times a week on a long term basis is recommended.

How long should you wear it for?

How long you will need to continue to wear your retainer depends on the reason you needed to have a brace in the first place. The severity of your malocclusions or alignment issues will affect how likely it is for your teeth to relapse.

Many orthodontists agree that a good rule of thumb is that you should wear your retainer for as long as your original brace was fitted for. This may be a year, eighteen months or two years.

Wearing a retainer after you finally get your braces removed may seem tedious, but doing so will help to keep your smile beautifully straight for many years to come.

There is also a bonded alternative to the removable retainer. As the name suggests, the retainer is bonded to the back of your teeth and stays there long term. Of course, the major benefit is that you don’t have to remember to put your retainer in. Therefore, your teeth shouldn’t move.

Need a little positive inspiration? Let us remind you about some of the benefits of successful teeth realignment treatment!