How Long Will I Need to Wear My Retainer?

 In Retainer Care

The length of time that you will have to wear your retainer can vary based on the dentist you see and the retainers that you have. However, the general guidelines are quite standard throughout the industry.

The following are general recommendations of how long you should wear your retainers after your braces get removed:

Wearing Your Retainer All the Time:

You will generally need to wear your retainers full-time for about 3 to 6 months following the removal of your braces. During this time you should aim to wear your retainerfor at least 22/hours each day. Your retainers should get removed when you are eating. Drinking water with your retainers in should be just fine.

Every Night:

Once your orthodontist feels like your teeth are remaining relatively stable, you will be able to transition to nighttime wear only. The timeline for this will vary, but will generally be between 3 and 6 months after your braces get removed. You will still need to wear your retainers every night to avoid having your teeth return to their pre-braces position.

Every Other Night:

After approximately one year, your dentist will likely allow you to wear your retainer every other night. You will need to do this for the rest of your life to help ensure that your teeth do not shift back to their former positions. Wearing your retainers on an every-other-night basis ensures that your teeth remember the position they are supposed to remain in and stay there for the long-term.


Depending on your orthodontist’s instructions, your retainer wear may vary a bit from the above guidelines, but this should generally cover when most orthodontists want you to wear your retainers. For further assistance or questions about your retainer wearing habits, please feel free to contact us at Big Bend Orthodontics as we are always here and happy to help.

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