After your braces are taken off, there is a possibility of relapse. There is a tendency that your teeth have to return to their original positions.


To prevent this from happening, orthodontists recommend wearing an orthodontic retainer. There are various kinds of retainers. Some are fixed - they are bonded or cemented to the teeth. The most common type are removable, like the Hawley appliance pictured on the right.


How long should you wear it? Until there is no more chance that your teeth will move. Your orthodontist will recommend a period of time. But sometimes their estimates are inaccurate, and the best gauge is your own teeth. If you retainer has been out of your mouth for, say, two days, and you try to put it back in, you'll be able to tell if your teeth moved in the meantime. If they have, it's too early to go without it for that period of time. Wait a week, or a month, or longer, and try to put your retainer back in. Did your teeth move? If so, keep wearing it.


My recommendation is to keep wearing it at least nightly until there is no more movement in your teeth.





How long should I wear my retainer - photo is an example
                         An Orthodontic Retainer




By Dr. David Hall

Written by a cosmetic dentist!

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Sponsored by


Dental Websites

Good cosmetic dentistry requires special skills and extensive training beyond dental school.

There is a great difference between a good, reputable general dentist who thinks he or she can do cosmetic dentistry, and an artistically inclined cosmetic dentist. If the appearance of your smile is important to you, you need to understand this difference.

Read: What Is a Cosmetic Dentist?

Contact us to find out how we can guarantee you high traffic.


We understand dentistry because we're run by a dentist.

How Long Should I Wear My Retainer?

Other Information about

The listings below are paid advertisements and should not be confused with the recommended dentists we list in our "find a cosmetic dentist" section: