The First 3-6 Months
Wear your retainers for the first 3 months after your orthodontic treatment is completed. The only time that you should remove your retainers is while eating or brushing your teeth. Once three months pass, you may wear your retainer at night and no longer need to worry about wearing it throughout the day. If you want lasting results make sure that you wear your retainer to bed every night so that your smile remains the same. If you choose not to wear them at night your teeth can shift and your retainers will no longer be effective.
Retainers typically last up to two years. However, some retainers stretch out sooner due to grinding/clenching your teeth. This is more common to happen at night when you are asleep. Since the first 3 months require you to wear them all throughout the day, that may cause them to stretch sooner as well. But there are plenty of reasons that your retainers can stretch out faster. Not wearing your retainer is one of them. These reasons, among others, can cause teeth shifting while wearing your retainer.
Every 6 Months
It’s important to know if your retainer has stretched. So we always recommend having a duplicate retainer on hand to make sure there is no shifting taking place. When you get a duplicate retainer and it is relatively tighter you can confirm that your previous retainer has in fact stretched.
However if you only have one set of retainers, it is impossible to tell if your teeth have shifted until using a new duplicate retainer. If you realize a change has occurred when putting in your duplicate retainer, that means your teeth may have shifted and will have to wear your retainer more often to insure your smile is staying how you want it.
If More Retainers Are Needed
Whenever you feel there is a change or need a replacement, give us a call and we will be more than happy to help. If you have been wearing your retainer for quite some time and have finally got to the point where your smile is where it needs to be, make sure you contact us for a more secure way to protect your hard earned smile.
Always remember that having a backup retainer is key to keeping your smile. You don’t want to go without one on hand. If there has been no major dental work done and you have followed the instructions above, you will most likely not need a new scan and/or impression.
You can always come in for cleaning every time you visit the office for a dental cleaning.