This is a question we often deal with, so we thought it would be a good idea to address it here and explain why wearing a retainer after braces come off is important.
Whether you have clear braces, metal braces or Invisalign clear aligners, you’ll need to wear a retainer. At first, you may need to wear your retainer up to 22 hours per day. But the total time is based on several factors, like your age and the severity of your orthodontic problem.
After Braces Come Off – Why You Need Your Retainer
Teeth move. While researchers have tried to figure out what causes teeth to move, the consensus seems to be age. Just like your skin and hair, your teeth change over time. If you have orthodontic treatment some years ago, you may even find that your teeth have shifted over the years. But this can be prevented with the help of a retainer.
While braces straighten your teeth by applying pressure, your teeth naturally want to return to their original position when that pressure’s gone. This is especially the case with younger patients. Wearing a retainer after braces can increase muscle memory, keeping your teeth in place for many years to come.
The length of time you’ll need to wear a retainer depends on your circumstances. Ideally, you should wear it day and night for at least 6 to 12 months after your braces come off. Then, you can cut back to just wearing your retainer at night for 6 to 12 months. After that, you should wear your retainer at least one to two nights a week for life to keep your teeth in place.
Forgetting to Wear Your Retainer After Braces
There is almost always the risk of your teeth moving after braces. If you stop wearing your retainer even for a short period after your braces come off, when your teeth are not quite settled yet, you could risk your teeth moving back to a crooked position.
What’s more, if your treatment was for something like severely crowding or crooked teeth, they are susceptible to movement after treatment.
Once your braces are removed, you need to wear a retainer. Don’t, and you risk undoing all those months of treatment for a healthier, straighter smile.
Get in touch with the team at Medland Orthodontics today to discuss your orthodontic treatment.