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Do you have to wear a retainer forever?

There are some pivotal moments that you never forget, like learning to ride a bike, graduating from high school and, of course, the happiness you feel when you finish orthodontic treatment. When you get the first glimpse of your new smile you can’t imagine it ever looking any other way. But do you have to wear a retainer forever to keep that new smile in place? In short, YES you do!

Retainers are FOREVER

When talking to patients about wearing retainers, the most common question asked is “How long do I need to wear a retainer for?”

Our response is always the same: “Forever.”

The question that follows is “Why?”

The simple truth is that orthodontic treatment is not set in stone. Teeth are set in bone that will change over time. As those bone changes occur teeth can shift into new positions. The only way to prevent them from doing so is consistent retainer wear.

Wearing retainers at night when sleeping is all that is needed to protect your orthodontic investment. Just like brushing your teeth and tying your shoes, retainer wear will become part of your daily routine.

Our orthodontists may also place a fixed or bonded retainer behind your teeth for extra protection. But, removable retainers must be worn EVEN if you have these bonded retainers.

Keep your retainer fresh

A retainer is durable and can last for a long time if properly maintained. Fortunately, a retainer is not too high maintenance.  Cleaning a retainer daily with toothpaste and a soft toothbrush should keep any grime away.

Feel like going the extra mile? Soak your retainers in water with a denture tablet weekly for an extra refresh.

Lost retainer? – Call us!

Leave your retainer in another state? Dog chewed it up? No need to fret.  If you are in need of a new retainer, call our office at 920-739-2400 to schedule an appointment for replacements.  Don’t delay and question if you do have to wear a retainer forever. We promise that the small fee for a new retainer will save you from needing another full round of orthodontic treatment.

And while we love seeing patients in our office, we know that going through orthodontic treatment is not on anyone’s to-do list twice.