How Long Do I Need to Wear My Retainers?

I have to wear my retainers for how long?!

Retainers are for life!

This is for two reasons. After Damon braces, traditional braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, or any other orthodontic treatment, teeth want to move back to where they started. That's why it is very important to wear your retainers all the time immediately after treatment. Your orthodontist will then adjust your retention protocol to fit your needs and lifestyle.

Additionally, teeth shift throughout our lifetimes. Want to keep those pearly whites nice and straight? Wear those retainers! 

The Stages of Wearing a Removable Retainer

In certain cases, your orthodontist will attach a permanent retainer to the backs of your teeth. Patients that receive this will wear the retainers all the time, even while they eat and brush. This style of retainer can only be removed by a dentist, and when this is taken out, patients will receive a removable retainer to wear during sleep.

Most patients are given a set of retainers that are removed for eating and brushing. We’ve seen the best results when our patients wear their retainer on the following schedule:

The First 10 weeks: During this time, retainers should be worn for 22 hours a day or more. The only time they should be removed is to brush and floss or to eat. Your orthodontist will continue to monitor your progress before approving you to wear them less often.

The First 4 months after: After your initial time of full-time wear, you will be able to start wearing your retainers about 16 hours during the day, home and sleeping.

From 6 months to the Rest of Your Life: After your initial 6 months, you will be able to start wearing your retainers during sleep only. Skipping an occasional night or two is no big deal. A good rule of thumb is to aim to wear them every night as a routine.

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