How Long is the Retention Phase?
After we remove your braces, you will begin the “retention phase” of your orthodontic treatment. The retention phase will last, at minimum, 6 months and is key to your final result. Following through with this phase is important to ensuring all of the hard work you’ve put in so far is maintained.
Why is Retention Needed?
The 6 month retention phase allows for a majority of growth and settling to occur so that the teeth and jaws are as stable as possible. While the first 6 months are critical, living tissue is always subject to change due to posture, habits, muscle pressure, etc. Recent studies have indicated that growth can occur in small amounts throughout life. Thus, teeth and jaws can shift at any time in varying degrees. What this means is…
The only way to maintain tooth alignment, achieved during orthodontic treatment, indefinitely is with permanent guidance or lifetime retention. This means continuing on after the retention phase is complete and wearing a removable retainer 4-7 nights per week forever, or having a lingual (permanent) retainer placed.
Today’s orthodontic advancements help ease the maintenance of your beautiful smile. Clear, lingual (behind the teeth/permanent) or regular retainers are available. Choose what works best for you! Faithful wear of your retainers will ensure that you enjoy the long term benefit from your orthodontic treatment.