When the day comes that your braces are removed, celebration is definitely in order! But while it’s a relief to finally have your teeth free of all those wires and brackets, you do need to take steps to ensure they stay in their new position. If you fail to use your orthodontic retainer properly, your teeth will slowly begin to revert to their previous position, erasing all the time and effort you put into correcting them by wearing braces.
Orthodontic retainers should be worn for a lifetime. While this may seem overwhelming, understand that after six months of continuous, 24/7 use, most people are able to switch to wearing their retainer only at night. After an additional 4-6 months of night wear, you may be able to start wearing your retainer for only a few nights per week. The frequency of retainer use after the initial retention period will depend on how stable your teeth become, and will be determined by your orthodontist.
Be warned that if you stop wearing your retainer all together, even after years of consistent use, your teeth may begin to shift back to their old position. Most people would admit that wearing their retainer at least a few nights each week is worth the effort in order to make sure their smile stays healthy and beautiful.
If you have further questions about retainer use or life after braces, please contact Dr. Rudman and his experienced orthodontist team at Advanced Orthodontic Care, serving downtown Denver and Stapleton, Colorado.