When patients remove their braces, the first order of business is to wear retainers. Your teeth are now in their new places, but teeth have memory and will not stay that way unless you take proactive measures. Your teeth leave gaps in the surrounding bone and tissue as they move. While your tissue heals, a set of retainers will hold your teeth in place. This is why, for the first 3-6 months, you should wear your retainers full-time. You have to know how to clean a retainer as well.
- To keep your teeth straight for the rest of your life, you will need to wear your retainers every night. The good news is that they won’t need to be worn as frequently after a while.
- If you stop wearing your retainer, your teeth will eventually shift back to their previous position. However the process will get slower and slower.
- Teeth remember their former location in certain ways. Even if the bones and ligaments that surround your teeth shift, your teeth will try to return to their former position.
This type of retainer can only be removed by a dentist, and once removed, patients will be given a detachable retainer to wear while sleeping. You can achieve the best results only when they wear their retainer on the following schedule:
- During the first 3-6 months, retainers should be worn for at least 22 hours every day. Before allowing you to wear them at night, your dentist will continue to check your progress. You must learn how to clean a retainer.
- The first two years, after your initial period of full-time wear, you will be able to begin wearing your retainers at night.
- The third year and the rest of your life, you can now wear your retainers less frequently. As a general guideline, try to wear them every other night.