Your retainer is almost as important a part of your orthodontic treatment as your braces (or aligners) are. Here’s some information on how long they need to be worn.
At Orthostyle, we know that each patient is different, and we customize each orthodontic treatment plan to the patient’s unique needs. And the same goes for retainers.
Every orthodontic patient needs to wear a retainer, but the duration and frequency of wear can vary significantly from person to person.
Here are the typical phases of retainer wear:
Phase 1: Full Time
At the end of your braces treatment, your teeth will be somewhat loose and unstable in your mouth. They will need time to settle into their new, straightened positions. During this time, you will need to wear your retainer full time.
For most people, this takes between 6 months to a year.
Phase 2: Nighttime
After a certain point, your teeth will be settled in enough that you can begin wearing your retainer only at night, while you sleep.
Phase 3: Maintenance
To maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment long term, you will have to wear your retainer on a part-time basis for the rest of your life.
Without maintenance, your teeth may shift out of their straight positions, which can cause a variety of dental health problems.
For most people, the mild inconvenience of wearing a retainer part time is worth the benefits of better oral health, and a straight, beautiful smile that lasts.