How Long Do I Need To Wear My Retainer?
Posted on 10/01/2020
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How Long Do I Need to Wear My Retainer?

On the day you finally get your braces off, we know you'll be excited. And with good reason: you're seeing your smile in its full glory for the first time! But while this day will certainly be exciting, it's important to realize you're not completely finished with your treatment. Now comes the retention phase, a part of treatment that's absolutely crucial to the longevity of your smile. As your dedicated Bettendorf and Eldridge, IA orthodontist, we'll give you detailed instructions on wearing and caring for your retainer when we fit you for one. But to help you know what to expect, we wanted to take this opportunity to discuss how long you'll need to wear your retainers. 


How Long Does Retention Treatment Last?

Shortly after your braces come off, you'll need to start wearing a set of retainers. This is because while your teeth will be in new positions after treatment, the tissues that hold and support your teeth will have yet to "adapt" to their new positions. Without retention, this means your teeth will simply drift back to their old positions, erasing all your hard work! Your custom-made retainers will hold your teeth in place long enough for the rest of your mouth to adapt, allowing your new smile to set into place. 


But this process takes time. Most patients will need to start off wearing their retainers 24/7, and this period of continuous wear will likely need to last between a few months and a year. After this, you'll switch to wearing your retainer only at night for a year or two. Finally, you'll be alright wearing it only every other night, and later down the line, you'll only need to put it in a couple of times a week to ensure it fits correctly. 


Contact Your Bettendorf and Eldridge, IA Orthodontist

These timelines are accurate for most patients, but it's important to remember that every patient is different. The only way to determine the length of your retention treatment for certain is through talking with your preferred Bettendorf and Eldridge orthodontist – and if you have more questions about retention or are interested in pursuing orthodontic treatment for yourself, we're here to help. Contact us today to learn more about retention, our office, and how we can help you achieve a beautiful new smile through braces or Invisalign. We can't wait to hear from you!