How Long Should I Wear My Retainer?

How Long Should I Wear My Retainer After Treatment?
Posted on 04/19/2019

There is nothing so exciting for our Monticello and Champaign area patients than the day they get their metal or clear braces removed or ceremoniously discard their last set of Invisalign clear aligners! Seeing your new, beautiful smile for the first time is a moment of joy for teens and adults alike, as well as Dr. Huls and the staff at Huls Orthodontics. However, amidst all the excitement it’s important to remember that this is not the end of your orthodontic treatment. All braces and Invisalign patients enter the next phase of treatment - the retention phase.

What Do Retainers Do? 


Retainers are orthodontic appliances that are shaped to your teeth and mouth and are used for keeping your teeth in their straight and desired position. Basically, retainers are utilized to help “set” your teeth in place, ensuring they don’t begin to move back to their original positions. We know our Monticello patients don’t want to reverse the work and time given to create their perfect smile, so we prescribe retainer treatment for all of our patients. The benefits of wearing a retainer after orthodontics include:

  • Maintaining your impressive new smile
  • Helping you breathe, chew, and speak better
  • Keeping your teeth from slipping back into their old positions
  • Closing spaces between teeth and keeping them closed
  • Moving or shifting just one tooth
  • Improving oral hygiene by keeping teeth straight & easy to clean
  • Reducing snoring at night 

Types Of Retainers

When you finish your braces or Invisalign treatment, Dr. Huls will create one of two types of retainers. Your retainer could be a removable type - one that is formed to your teeth and inserted into your mouth, but you are able to remove it to eat and clean it. Or, you may be a candidate for a more permanent retainer which is attached to your teeth and not removable. 

How Long Will I Wear My Retainer?

The exact duration of time you will need to wear your retainer depends on the type of orthodontic treatment you had. Dr. Huls will give you specific instructions based on your individual situation. Be sure to follow those instructions carefully. Oftentimes, Dr. Huls will ask you to wear your retainer 24-hours a day for the first four to six months after treatment, removing it only to eat and clean your teeth and retainer. After that, he may allow you to switch to wearing it only at night but forever. This will help you maintain your beautiful smile indefinitely.

What Should I Do If My Retainer Doesn’t Fit?

Occasionally our Monticello patients will find that after some time their retainer no longer fits properly. If you don’t wear your retainer and your teeth shift, it may become too tight to put on or too loose. If this happens to you, please contact our office as soon as possible for an appointment. It is important that Dr. Huls re-evaluates your orthodontic work and corrects the problem or produces a new retainer, as needed. 

Find Your Perfect Smile At Huls Orthodontics Today!

At Huls Orthodontics, we are proud of the sparkling smiles we create for our Monticello and Champaign area patients. We offer a variety of treatments like metal or clear braces and Invisalign clear aligners to boost confidence for adolescents, teens, and adults who may not like the appearance of their smile, or who need treatment for severe orthodontic issues. If you have any questions about the retention phase of your orthodontic treatment or any questions at all, please give us a call at (217) 762-7313 for Monticello patients or (217) 352-4334 for Champaign patients. We can’t wait to get started on the path to creating your forever perfect smile.