As orthodontists, our goal is to straighten teeth while balancing the forces your teeth feel from your lips, cheeks, and tongue to keep your smile beautiful over your lifetime. Retainers have changed dramatically over the years and our favourite options are fixed lingual wire retainers for your upper and lower front teeth with a nighttime removable retainer for your upper teeth.
We commonly see lower incisor crowding among our adult patients who come into our office after previously having had orthodontic treatment when they were younger and they either lost or had their fixed retainer removed. Patients who start with stable bites at the beginning may not need a removable retainer and some with more crooked teeth may even need one for the bottom teeth as well as the top.
We commonly get asked “how long do I have to wear their removable retainer for”. The first couple of years after your braces are removed is when we are most likely to see orthodontic relapse if retainers aren’t worn because our gum tissues have elasticity and remember the starting position of crowded or crooked teeth. We recommend wearing your removable retainer every night and to not go longer than 3-5 days without wearing it. We recommend keeping your fixed permanent retainers in place over your lifetime.