If you are thinking about straightening your teeth or correcting your smile, part of normal orthodontic protocol involves wearing a retainer; a retainer is typically fitted after a period of wearing braces. Know that there are two types of retainers, the kind you can remove as well as the kind that you cannot, which are bonded or adhered to the teeth and are non-removable.
So, how long will you need to wear a retainer?
Types of Retainers
Wearing a retainer is used as a way of supporting the teeth and bones following orthodontic treatment, like braces. This ensures there is no movement or further misalignment of your teeth in the weeks, months, or years after treatment. After all, you don’t want to lose any of the straightening impacts of the braces- this is why most orthodontists recommend removable retainers for their patients.
Time Frames for Retainers
Generally speaking, an orthodontist will recommend that patients wear removable retainers for at least a year after braces have been removed. This may be full-time, though the patient can remove the retainer to eat, drink, or participate in certain activities. Typically, the orthodontist will require vigilance for six months after braces have been removed, with intermittent wear after that point. Naturally, a non-removable retainer will be at the discretion of the orthodontist, and they will assess progress before making any decision on when to remove it.
Other Orthodontic Advice
It really depends on the type of correction that you and your orthodontist are trying to achieve that dictates how long you will need to wear a retainer. If you are slack about wearing it, likely you will be recommended that you wear it longer- especially if your teeth show signs of misalignment. Also, if your retainer is the result of tooth trauma or an accident, you may be fitted with a retainer that you are unable to remove and that you wear full-time, 24/7.
Listen to the Orthodontist
It bears repeating that the exact length of time that you wear a retainer depends on your orthodontist’s specific instructions and the nature of why you are wearing it to begin with. Different types of orthodontic correction will have varying time frames, so listen to your provider. Failure to follow their instructions regarding retainer wear, use, and what you can or can’t eat can impact how long you end up wearing a retainer as well as the results received. For your best smile, listen to the professionals!
Got questions related to your retainer? Talk to your orthodontist first. Do you need cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics to preserve or improve your smile? Call to schedule an appointment with the professionals at Reese Orthodontics. Their number-one priority is the patient and providing them with the best smile possible; call or visit today.