It’s a day children and adults alike celebrate with great happiness — the day the braces come off. It’s a day that should be celebrated, you worked hard and spent a good deal of money to perfect that smile and you have every right to show off those pearly whites. But now that the braces are off, it’s important to wear your retainer so all of those years of brackets shifting your teeth don’t go to waste. So, how long do you need to wear a retainer after you get your braces off? Find out below!

How Long Should Braces Be Worn?

Braces correct a number of conditions including a misaligned bite, crooked teeth, protruding teeth, and lots of other misalignments in the mouth. Depending on the individual case, the patient’s goals and the severity of the issue, braces should be worn anywhere from a few months to a few years.

What Happens When I Get My Braces Off?

Now that the issues in your mouth have been corrected, it’s safe to remove those wires and those brackets. However, if you want your teeth and jaw to stay corrected for the foreseeable future, it’s vital to wear a retainer.

Retainers are custom-made apparatuses designed to keep the teeth from shifting out of place. While some retainers are permanent, lots of models are removable. With that said, removable retainers should be worn every night and between each meal after braces are removed.

This will help allow teeth to permanently settle in the soft tissue and the jawbone they reside in, without the risk of them going back to being crooked or misaligned.

It’s always best to consult with your orthodontist to determine an appropriate amount of time to wear a retainer as each case is very unique. After all, you don’t want all that money and all that patience to go down the drain!