One of the great questions we get before, during and after orthodontics is “why do I have to wear retainers”.
In short, the answer is to prevent all the hard work you put into your mouth for the last 18-24 months from changing or moving. Teeth have memory and are programmed to revert back to what they have known without being “told” where to stay- that is where the retainer comes into play. In our office, retainers should be worn only at night but consistently to prevent movement. After a couple years of no tooth movement then we switch our patients to wearing them 2-3 times a week. The one thing that is constant is that if you have had orthodontic tooth movement you will need to be committed to some type of retainer for the rest of your life. We use a combination of removable and bonded (or glued) retainers for our patients. We have several patients that have had orthodontics as a child but never wore their retainers so as an adult we are putting them back in braces to correct the tooth movement.
One famous example of the importance of wearing retainers is Faith Hill- she had braces as a child and did not wear he retainers so as an adult at the 2013 Grammy’s she was in full braces!