How Long Do I Need to Wear Retainers?

Wearing Retainers

When braces are removed, it is recommended that the patient wears a retainer throughout the day and night for at least one year. Depending on the complexity of the orthodontic treatment rendered, Dr. David Markham may advise the patient to wear the retainer for longer than a year. In the first few months directly after the braces are removed, the teeth can shift easily, so a retainer needs to be worn especially during this time period to ensure that the teeth won’t move.

Be sure to check out our Retainer Instructions for more details.


After the initial early time wearing a retainer, it is recommended that patients continue to wear the retainer every night because teeth still do shift with time. This shifting is especially common with patients between the ages of 20-50, where it is common to find lower front teeth beginning to the crowd. Thus, to prevent this crowding, a retainer needs to be worn for the rest of a patient’s life. Fortunately, the retainer is very comfortable to wear, as it only needs to be worn during sleep hours.

Call our office today for your complimentary evaluation at (916) 924-8970.