Braces Off, Retainers On: Why Wear Retainers Forever


RetainersYour braces are finally off. After months of enduring metal braces or clear aligners, you are finally free from their grasp.

Or so you think.

After every orthodontic treatment, dentists often recommend using retainers to hold your teeth in their new position. Initially, the feeling of a foreign object inside your mouth can be bothersome; even the idea of wearing them forever seems unpleasant. But in spite of the discouragements that come with retainers, wearing them comes with all the right reasons.

The Need for Retainers to Avoid Relapses

Using braces forces your teeth into a new position. To encourage movement, your tooth should have bone on one side to soften. Once the teeth find their new positions, new bone stabilizes the teeth within their new positions. The process usually takes about 9 to 12 months.

According to, it takes time for bones and tissues to reorganize after your braces. Retainers serve to stabilize your bite and reduce the risk of oral relapse. This occurs when your teeth take a year or more to stabilize after your braces. For cases with severe gaps, retention periods are often longer.

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What’s Next After 12 Months?

Dentists often recommend daily wear of retainers for 12 months. But once the year ends, should you keep wearing your retainers?

The answer is yes.

Depending on your case, your orthodontist will prescribe the best retention plan for you. After a year of continuous wear, most orthodontists recommend wearing your retainers at least 3-5 times a week every night for life. This is because of the slow inward shift teeth experience as you age.

The move takes some time but it creates a big impact. Rather than wait for it to happen, it’s best to follow your orthodontist’s recommendations and wear your retainers every day.

Ensuring Good Results After Retention Period

Bones can change and remodel after your braces. From 20 to 50 years old, faces will mature, which pushes teeth forward and causes crowding of lower front teeth. To avoid late crowding, rely on your trusted retainers and wear them every night.

Retainers may seem like a nuisance at first but the rewards that come with wearing them are generous. Start your forever love affair with retainers now to enjoy straighter teeth longer.