After investing all the time and money into improving the look and function of your smile, wouldn’t you want to do everything to ensure that your teeth remain as aligned as they were the day you finished your treatment? Well, that retainer your orthodontist hands you at the end of your treatment plays a huge role in doing just that.

Are you wondering just how important it is to wear your retainer after having braces? Let us elaborate.

Why Do I Need to Wear a Retainer After Wearing Braces?

While your orthodontic treatment worked to move and realign your teeth over a period of time, once the braces are removed or you stop wearing aligners, your teeth will naturally try to move back where they originally were.

This typically happens for up the 18 months after your treatment ends, with the amount of movement lessening as time goes on. However, by wearing your retainer as directed by your orthodontist, you can prevent your teeth from moving again and keep them in the ideal position.

How Long Do I Have to Wear my Retainer?

Since each patient is different, the amount of time you’ll need to wear your retainer will vary. Typically, you should wear it all day for the first couple of months after your treatment, except when you’re brushing your teeth or eating.

After that, you may only have to wear it for a few hours a day or at night for the next year or so. If you really want to ensure your teeth stay in place, it’s often best to wear it when you go to sleep several times a week indefinitely.