After you have removed your braces, you would get a great feel of straight teeth, which is one of the blessings in life. With your perfectly straight teeth, the bright and stunning smile, and your boosted confidence_ you feel brilliant. However, once you have removed your braces or your orthodontic treatment is done, do not leave your teeth without another piece of dental equipment; dental retainers.
Retainers are essential to sustain your orthodontic treatment and keep your teeth straight for an extended period. But how long should you wear retainers?
This is one of the most common questions that usually people ask their dentists. Well, the period of wearing retainers actually depends upon several factors which must be determined. This article would help you determine these aspects and the ideal duration of wearing retainers.
Typically, the ideal duration of wearing retainers to maintain your straightened teeth varies as per your treatment plan and the retainer type as well. Most people wear retainers not more than 5 to 7 months. But if you are wearing permanent or removable retainers, then how much does it require?
Let’s discuss different circumstances and types of retainers to know about the most accurate span to wear retainers.
How Long Should I Wear a Retainer in a Day?
Well, there is no rigid lifespan to wear retainers because every person holds a different situation and diverse orthodontic plan; thus, you should expect to wear your retainers for 20 to 22 hours per day in the first 4 to 6 months to sustain your teeth alignment. Once this period is over, you should start wearing it at night only. Wearing a retainer at night helps a lot in keeping your teeth aligned more precisely.
If you do not follow the above instructions of the time period, there is a great risk of teeth shifting, and you may lose all your expensive orthodontic treatment results. Besides, it still depends upon your retainer types about how long the period should be.
Different Types of Retainers
After your orthodontic treatment is done, your dentist would leave you with the option of which type of retainer you want to go for. There are two retainer types; the permanent one and the removable one.
▶ Permanent Retainer
These retainers are also known as fixed retainers or lingual wires, which are sometimes recommended by your orthodontist in case you feel difficulty handling removable retainers. As a dentist, people visit me and complain they have either broken their retainers or lost them. Therefore, I suggest wearing permanent retainers, which do not come out, neither dropped nor lost. But, you may need to wear these retainers for a longer time, probably for years, because they are considered less effective than the removable ones.
▶ Removable Retainer
In removable retainers, you would get two other types; Hawley retainers and Essix retainers. Both retainers are considered to be the best option to keep your teeth aligned. Typically, you have prescribed a removable retainer for four months to a year and suggested removing it while eating and brushing. Once you believe that you have worn your retainers for an adequate time, visit your dentist; he will determine whether it’s time to remove them permanently or you still need to wear your retainers.
Look After your Retainers
You must take good care of your retainers, either they are Hawley or Essix because hygiene is paramount to keep your teeth healthy. However, it is advised to brush your teeth daily with a soft-bristled brush. You can easily clean your retainers by following specific instructions, such as washing your retainers after every meal (though it is recommended to wear off your retainers while eating) and taking a deep clean once a week using retainer cleaning solutions. Still, if you could not discover the most suitable ways to clean your retainers, ask your dentist for the best advice.