We are often asked about retainers. “Will I have to wear retainers when I am finished? What do retainers do?” Simply put, retainers hold the teeth in their new position. Once braces are removed, it takes some time for the gum tissue and bone surrounding your teeth to finish remodeling to accommodate the new position of the teeth. During this time, teeth are more likely to shift. We will likely recommend full time retainer wear for at least six months after your braces are removed, followed by at least six months of night time wear. After the first year, your teeth will stabilize more. It is always recommended however that you continue to wear the retainers on a regular basis for life. That’s right…FOR LIFE! Teeth will always have some ability to shift, no matter how long ago your braces were removed. Think of it as regular maintenance. You still have to change the oil in your car even after it’s paid off, right? With regular retainer wear (sometimes as little as 1-2 nights per week) you can keep your new smile looking great for the rest of your life.