May 25, 2019 Roanoke Valley Orthodontics

Will I have to wear a retainer after orthodontic treatment?

Ah, it feels great to get your braces off after orthodontic treatment! You’ve worked hard and followed our instructions, and now your teeth are straight and your smile is beautiful. 

Will you have to wear a retainer following your orthodontic treatment? If so, how long?

Dr. Jones will prescribe the appropriate retainer style and amount of wear customized to your specific case. So, the short answer is: Yes! You’ll likely need to wear a retainer after your braces come off or you finish Invisalign treatment. 

We continue your orthodontic treatment with a retainer because the teeth need some time to adjust to their new placement within the gums and jaws. They will naturally try to relapse, or shift back into their original positions, undoing part or all of the correction accomplished with braces or Invisalign. The length of time you’ll need to wear the retainer will depend on the treatment plan Dr. Jones has prescribed for you. 

There are two types of retainers used for orthodontic treatment: 

  • Fixed retainers are usually thin wires that are bonded to the back of the teeth — upper, lower or both — and stay in position in your mouth. 
  • Removable retainers are more common and are generally only worn at nighttime while sleeping. Proper care of removable retainers will be important to keep them clean and in great shape for your continued use. 

So what if you don’t wear your removable retainer as directed? As discussed above, your teeth will begin to shift back into their original positions. Fortunately, there is a simple way to avoid this: Wear your retainer as recommended by Dr. Jones! 

As always, specific retainer treatment depends on the unique needs of each patient. 

To discuss your treatment options, contact us to request a complimentary consultation at any of our three locations. Please call 540-563-1640 or use our appointment request form. For more information about starting treatment, visit the New Patients section of our website.