Getting your braces removed is a momentous occasion that’s absolutely worth celebrating. However, it’s also important to remember that keeping your smile beautiful and straight is a lifelong commitment. Once your braces are removed, you’ll enter the retention phase of your treatment.
At Georgia School of Orthodontics, we field a lot of questions about “How long do I need to wear a retainer?” and “How long do retainers last?” Our patients usually have three retainer check visits in the first year after their braces are removed. Our patients are expected to wear their retainers full-time except when eating and brushing for the first 6 weeks after treatment is completed. Assuming a good report at the 6 week retainer check visit, most patients go to nights only for the next 11 months or so. Once this “active retention” phase is completed, most patients are instructed to wear their retainers for a few nights per week, indefinitely.
How long a retainer lasts will depend on how well you care for your retainer. It will also depend on whether our team recommends a removable retainer or a fixed retainer based on your specific situation and needs. In this blog, we’ll explain the differences in durability between these two types of retainers and also provide some tips for getting the most life out of your retainer.