Wearing retainers after your orthodontic treatment is a common and important practice in orthodontic care. Since teeth move your whole life, your teeth need support after orthodontic treatment, in order to stay in place and maintain all the hard work you put in while having treatment.
There are two general classes of retainers, removable retainers which can be taken out for eating and cleaning and bonded retainers, which are attached to your teeth and are not removable.
Retainers stabilize your bones and teeth after the active orthodontic treatment, ensuring that the realignment of your teeth and bite does not change. This is why most orthodontists will require you to wear your removable retainers for at least 12 months following your braces removal. Most will recommend you wear your retainer full time for the first 4-6 months after treatment is completed then at nights indefinitely to maintain your beautiful smile.
The exact duration of retainer wear is dependent on the type of orthodontic correction you have received. Be sure to listen to and follow closely the instructions given to you by your orthodontist at the time you start your orthodontic retention.
Remember, retention is for life!
To learn more about what to expect when wearing a retainer, take a look at our article on what you can do to keep your retainer clean.