orthodontic retainerThe process of correcting your teeth’s alignment does not end when the braces come off. A retainer will be fitted to your teeth for the purpose of reinforcing the newly created position. This is to make sure that things continue to stay in place long after the wires are removed.

What to Expect

During the first few months after your braces come off, it’s highly recommended that you wear your retainers 24/7. The only time they should be removed is before you drink, eat, or brush. You can choose to have a plastic retainer made if you want to conceal its appearance.

Depending on your orthodontist’s observations of how your teeth are responding to the fact that the braces are out, you will eventually be required to wear a retainer only when you sleep for at least a year. You can then start wearing them only three to four times a week. Dentists do not recommend that you get rid of the retainers completely in order to make sure all the hard work from the braces will be worth it.

Maintenance of Braces

While there are removable and fixed retainers, it is important to point out that they will be a permanent part of your life. The only difference is that you may be allowed to wear them less frequently. If you use a fixed retainer, doctors will require you to keep it in for a few years (or decades). Again, it all depends on your orthodontist’s assessment. If appearance is a concern, you can opt for a lingual retainer, which is placed behind your teeth and will not be immediately visible.