Braces are not a permanent solution for straightening teeth. They are designed to guide the teeth into the desired position, but once the braces are removed, the teeth no longer have that barrier. Without wearing a retainer, your teeth will gradually shift backwards, making all the effort a waste of time and money. Retainers are essential for maintaining the results of braces and ensuring that your teeth stay straight.
At Orthodontic Gallery, our advice is that you should wear your retainers for as long as you want to have straight teeth. Braces can be very effective in straightening your teeth, but to ensure that your teeth stay straight after braces, it's important to wear the retainer as directed by your orthodontist. Unfortunately, even if you've been taking off your braces for what seems like an eternity, experts say that probably doesn't mean wearing the retainer should be a one-time thing. The ligaments that cause teeth to move or relapse are like elastic bands, since they want to contract the most during the first three years.
After three years, teeth are less likely to relapse. However, there is no fixed date for replacing the retainer, so it really is something you should keep an eye on in the long term. You may need to replace your retainer within the first year of installing it, or the original one could be perfectly fine for up to 20 years. If your teeth were very crooked before you put on your braces, they may be more likely to move and, therefore, you should wear the retainer longer after removing it.
It's also important to practice good oral hygiene both when you wear braces and after removing them. Braces can be a great way to get straight teeth and a beautiful smile. But it's important to remember that braces are not permanent and that wearing a retainer is essential for maintaining the results of braces and ensuring that your teeth stay straight.