Braces are an investment in your smile. When your teeth reach the desired alignment, you’ll have a beautiful smile, but it is important to keep them that way! You can accomplish this with a retainer provided by Dr. Chou.

A retainer is a small, custom-fit device that reinforces the new position of your teeth after your braces are removed. But for many patients,  wearing a retainer may seem like an annoyance. So exactly how long after your braces come off should you wear your retainer?

Graduation of Wear Time

When Dr. Chou removes your braces, she evaluates the condition of the bone surrounding your teeth and determine how well it is adjusting to the new positions of your teeth. Depending out how much your teeth were moved, you will have to wear your retainer both day and night for several months up to a year, except during brushing and flossing.

As the bone and gum tissues adjust to your new smile, Dr. Chou will determine when you start to wear your retainer only at night. After about one year of wearing the retainer every night, you can start to gradually reduce the wear to every second night, then to  two nights a week, etc.

However, we do not recommend ever stopping permanently. Teeth continue to move throughout life, whether or not you have had orthodontic treatment.  To best secure the positions of the teeth, especially through growth and health changes, wearing your retainer at least one or two nights a week will be necessary for many years.


Remember that wearing your retainer is an investment in your smile. If you fail to wear it consistently, the tissues that support your teeth will be unsupported, and you may begin to experience noticeable shifting. You’ve worked hard to get that beautiful smile — your retainer will let you keep it! Remember to call our Toronto office if you have any questions about your retainer!

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