How Long Do I Need to Wear My Retainers?

How Long Do I Need to Wear My Retainers?
Posted on 02/10/2023

Getting your braces removed or finishing your Invisalign treatment certainly makes for an exciting time. After months of wearing your orthodontic device, you are probably more than ready to move on to the next phase of your treatment: retainers.

Here at Oubre Orthodontics, we will help fit you with the right retainer once your braces come off or after you have finished your final round of Invisalign. We care about giving you the results you want at our office in Lafayette, LA.

But why do you need a retainer? And how long should you wear it for? Let's find out.

Why You Need a Retainer

Your teeth might look nice and straight now, and that's because your aligners or braces have done a lot of work moving them into place. But, if you do not wear your retainers, they will not stay in place. That's right, your teeth will start to shift again, and that can be an unpleasant feeling with undesirable results.

You will need to wear your retainer full-time for the first few months after those braces come off. Your teeth will slowly shift as you get older, which is called mesial drift. Retainers can help prevent this from happening.

The Stages of Wearing a Retainer

While some orthodontists will affix permanent retainers to patients' teeth, others take a different approach. Removable retainers are more commonly used than permanent ones. There is a schedule for wearing them, which will probably look as follows:

The First 3-6 Months

You will be instructed to wear your retainers for 22 hours per day for the first 3-6 months after getting your braces removed. This is to help keep your teeth aligned as they were placed by braces. You will need to take them out to eat or brush your teeth.

The First 2 Years

Once your orthodontist gives you the go-ahead, you will only need to wear your retainers at night. You won't notice them too much as you sleep and will be pretty used to them already at this point. You will still need to see your orthodontist periodically to make sure everything still looks and feels good.

The Rest of Your Life

Yes, you will want to keep your retainers and wear them for the rest of your life. You can skip a couple of nights without anything happening. If you go without for an extended period, you might feel your teeth shifting, and it could potentially be painful.

Patients love to ask us, “Dr. Oubre! How long do I really have to wear this retainer?” to which we always say, “Only as long as you want to keep your teeth straight!”

Finish Strong with Oubre Orthodontics
Let's finish strong with your retainers. Call Oubre Orthodontics located in Lafayette, LA, to schedule your appointment. We will get those braces removed and help fit you for retainers that will keep your teeth in place for the rest of your life.

Oubre Orthodontics

  • Oubre Orthodontics - 1605 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508 Phone: 337-988-2025

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