How Long Do You Have to Wear a Retainer After Braces?

When you first begin wearing braces, you may be counting down the days until you’re able to say goodbye to them for good. But for many, a retainer may be necessary for a few months to a year or longer after your braces have been removed. Below, learn how a retainer can help your orthodontic treatment and how long you’ll have to wear a retainer.

How Long Do You Have to Wear a Retainer?

How long do you have to wear a retainer after your braces have been removed? The answer usually depends on the extent of your orthodontic treatment, the strength of your teeth, the way the roof of your mouth is shaped, and other factors unique to you. Many people will need to wear a retainer for anywhere from 3 months to 3 years or longer.

If you don’t wear a retainer, your teeth could shift back to their pre-orthodontia positions and undo all the hard work of treatment. By wearing a retainer after braces, you can rest assured that your teeth are stable in their new positions and won’t shift back over time.

How Long Do You Need a Retainer?

There are two main types of retainers: removable and fixed. In many cases, you’ll choose from one of these; in others, you may have one type for your upper teeth and another type for your lower teeth.

  • A removable retainer is taken out when you’re eating or brushing your teeth. This type of retainer is generally worn full-time for four months up to a year after your braces have been removed. How long do you have to wear a retainer? You may need to wear it longer, depending on whether or how your teeth have shifted. You may also be instructed to wear this retainer at night, even if you no longer need to wear it during the day.
  • A fixed retainer is affixed to your teeth (generally behind them, where it can’t be seen) and may be worn for several years.

So how long do you have to wear a retainer? As with so many orthodontic questions, the answer is “it depends.” At Roeder Orthodontics, we’re here to help answer your questions on braces, retainers, and a range of other orthodontic treatments. Visit our website to learn more about our services or make an appointment.

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