The short answer: forever! As long as you want to maintain your beautiful new smile, we recommend wearing your retainer at night. Dr. Droel still wears his, many years after treatment. The mouth and teeth are constantly growing and changing, even in adults. The same forces that caused your teeth to be crooked in the first place are still at work.
As soon as your braces come off, you will be fitted with personalized retainers, upper and lower.
Here is the schedule for retainer wear:
First 3 months, wear for 20 hours per day
Next 3 months, wear for 12 hours per day
After 6 months, wear every night during sleep (unless we tell you otherwise).
There is no charge for retainer checks once treatment is done. We encourage you to come in regularly so we can be sure your smile is the best it can be. Our patients become our friends, so we are always happy to see you!
During the past winter, we watched a child proudly show us how she had learned to skate backwards–a big accomplishment! Backwards is a good thing on ice skates, but a bad thing when it comes to your great new smile. Remember to wear your retainers!