Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How long will I have to wear a retainer after having my braces removed?"
I am 22 and having my braces removed. Will I need to wear retainers for very long?
The best person with whom to discuss your braces and further retainer care is your orthodontist. He or she can take your questions and put them in the context of the work you have had done as well as what you will need to keep your teeth in place. Overall, most orthodontists do recommend the lifelong use of retainers after braces. When you think about it, your teeth are clearly more than capable of moving, as you have just found out with the braces. For that reason, it is technically possible for them to move back to their original position and in many patients they will move without regular use of a retainer to 'retain' the shape and alignment created by the braces. You can ask your orthodontist more specific questions about your exact case, but in many patients orthodontists will prefer that patients wear retainers more often in the immediate short-term following the removal of the braces, followed by wearing them at night only for the long-term after that. Depending on our teeth, it can also be possible for a 'permanent' retainer wire to be attached to some of your teeth from the back to keep them in position. Overall, you've been through a lot to straighten your teeth--you want to make sure you talk with your orthodontist about exactly what you have to do to keep them that way!
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