How Long after Braces Do You Need to Wear Retainers?

The big reveal when you or your child removes your braces is one of life’s most delightful moments. The teeth are exactly straight. The brilliant smile. Life is fantastic! However, once your initial orthodontic treatment is completed, you will need to replace your braces with another piece of dental gear called a retainer. Wearing a retainer will help you maintain your teeth straight and your smile gleaming.

But how long do you have to wear a retainer? By studying more about the need for a retainer after braces, you’ll better understand the different elements that decide how long you’ll need to wear one.

What Does a Retainer Do after Braces?

While braces help you straighten your teeth and keep them in good alignment, a retainer does the same thing, but not as dramatically. In fact, the only time you’ll notice that your retainer is in place is when you take it out! By placing your retainer in your mouth post-braces, you’ll keep your teeth straight and keep your smile gorgeous.

Retainers after braces can help maintain the correction achieved during orthodontic treatment.

How Long Do I Need to Wear a Retainer after Braces?

How long you’ll need to wear a retainer after braces will vary depending on your personal needs. A retainer after braces will vary for different people, with the length of time wearing a retainer necessary determined by your age and treatment. The majority of patients will wear a retainer after braces for four to 12 months.

What Factors Determine When You Should Stop Wearing a Retainer?

The length of time you need to wear a retainer after braces come down to a few factors:

Age: The younger you are, the longer you’ll need to wear a retainer. Generally, children and teens need to wear a retainer longer than adults.

Treatment: The type of orthodontia that you or your child underwent will determine how long you’ll wear a retainer. For instance, patients who undergo Invisalign or clear braces will need to wear a retainer longer than those who undergo traditional braces.

Keep in mind, the most important factor that determines the amount of time you’ll need to wear a retainer is the severity of the tooth irregularity or misalignment. If your teeth were significantly crooked, you’ll need to wear a retainer longer than someone who experienced minor problems.

What Happens If You Don’t Wear Retainers?

Your teeth shift throughout your life. If you’ve ever worn braces, you’re aware that the position of your teeth in your mouth can shift due to variables such as aging and the use of orthodontic equipment.

Even though your orthodontic treatment is done does not guarantee that your teeth will remain in position.

If you do not wear your retainer as directed by your orthodontist, your teeth will tend to move back into their original position. This is referred to as relapsing. If you do not use your retainer, you may require orthodontic treatment again within 10 years, if not sooner.

If you try to skip wearing your retainer for a couple of weeks or months, your teeth may shift, and your retainer may not fit your teeth properly anymore.

Conclusion

Orthodontic treatment can transform your smile, but you’ll need to wear a retainer after braces to keep your teeth straight and your smile gorgeous. By wearing a retainer after braces, you’ll keep the results of your orthodontic treatment.

To ensure that you wear your retainer as directed by your orthodontist, you’ll need to take care of it. You’ll want to ensure your retainer after braces are clean and that you replace it regularly.

If you are looking for a reputable pediatric dentist in Newton, MA, turn to Waban Dental Group. We are a group of seasoned dentists that can take care of any dental concern. Contact us now to request an appointment! 

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