Do I Still Need to Wear My Retainer?

young boy gets fitted for a retainer by the orthodontist

If you’ve ever spent months and months undergoing orthodontic treatment, you know the sweet relief of finally being able to reveal your beautiful new smile to the world. No more metal braces or aligners! Well, unfortunately, that’s not quite true, at least not if you want to keep that new smile straight. Let’s take a look at why it’s important to keep wearing your retainer even years after your braces come off.

Why Do I Need a Retainer?

Wearing a retainer helps keep your teeth in their new position. Once you stop using braces or Invisalign, it’s not uncommon for your teeth to relapse or start shifting back to their original alignment. The bone and tissues that support your teeth need a little bit of help keeping things in place until your body fully adjusts. Wearing a retainer helps preserve the results of the time, money, and hard work you invested into your new smile.

How Often Do I Need to Wear My Retainer?

For the first six months after getting your braces off, you should wear your retainer all day every day except during mealtimes. After that, with your orthodontist’s sign-off, you can transition to wearing it only at night while you sleep. Eventually your teeth will be stable enough in their new position that you can go a few nights at a time without wearing your retainer without too much cause for concern.

What Happens If I Stop Wearing My Retainer?

If you stop wearing your retainer completely, no matter how long it’s been since you underwent orthodontic treatment, you could notice your teeth beginning to shift. It may happen slowly over time, but one day you could wake up and see that gaps have reappeared, or things are starting to look misaligned. To avoid these regressions, commit to wearing your retainer most nights for the rest of your life. If you lose your retainer, visit your orthodontist ASAP to have a new one made.

Clear Braces in Charlotte, North Carolina

While it may seem daunting to wear a retainer for the rest of your life, it’s a small price to pay to maintain your hard-earned orthodontic results—aka your beautiful, straight smile. At River Vista Dentistry, we offer two teeth straightening options: Six Month Smiles and Invisalign. If you’re ready to start your orthodontic journey with us, schedule a consultation today!

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