Retainers are custom-made orthodontic appliances that are worn after both traditional and Invisalign treatment in order to help the teeth and jaws to retain their position. Even if you’ve had the best orthodontic success possible, over time your teeth will start to shift toward their original positions. This is because your gum fibers will slowly, but constantly try and pull your teeth back to where they once were. Changes to your smile also occur with age, so retainers are very important.
The answer to how long retainers need to be worn are unique to each patient, but Dr. S. Kendall Dunn and Dr. Alex C. Schreiber provide a general set of instructions in this blog.
How Often Should I Wear my Retainer?
In general you should wear your retainer as follows:
- First 2 months / 22 hours a day
- Year 1: Nightly after dinner and while you sleep
- Year 2-3: Sunday through Thursday, same regimen
- Year 4-5: Every other night, same regimen
- Lifetime: Once-twice a week forever (This is recommended for best results).
If you want your teeth to stay straight and to make the time and expense of wearing braces worthwhile, then you MUST wear your retainers.
Replacing Your Retainer
If your retainer is somehow damaged or lost, do contact our office for a replacement. These things happen, but shouldn’t be used as an excuse for not complying with our recommendations.
As your trusted Millbrook, Wetumpka, and Montgomery orthodontists, our doctors are dedicated to helping you attain a straight, beautiful smile. Once your new smile is complete, we encourage you to take pride in your smile by doing your part to maintain it throughout the rest of your life. Wear your retainer as often as you can past the recommended retention phase and your teeth will be less likely to shift back to their old positions. For more information about retainers or orthodontic treatment in general, contact Dunn & Schreiber Orthodontics now!