How Long are Retainers Needed After Orthodontia?

Patients are often surprised to learn that there are few orthodontists that will guarantee that teeth will not eventually shift if retainers are not worn. While it might sound daunting to wear retainers “for the rest of your life”, patients must understand that even if retainers are worn for several years, the teeth will usually slowly shift back, because the same forces and factors that caused them to require treatment in the first place resume. Just like many patients understand that as they age, they may turn gray, lose hair, gain weight or wrinkle, some are ok if there post treatment result does not perfectly hold up year after year, but unlike these other eventualities, the orthodontic correction can be stabilized indefinitely simply by wearing a retainer each night. If weight gain or wrinkles could be prevented just by wearing a removable belt or cream each night, it would be the miraculous story of the century! Start thinking about retainers as miraculous.