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I Just Got My Braces Off. Do I Really Need to Wear a Retainer?

Finally, your braces have come off. HOORAY! Now your teeth are amazingly straight, perfect and just plain gorgeous … and they feel so smooth. Now you want to keep them that way, right? That’s where the retainer comes in.

Teeth are supported by living tissue so they’ll continue to move throughout your lifetime. If you want them to stay set in their beautiful new position, wearing a retainer helps prevent them from shifting back to where they once were. It doesn’t matter whether you had metal braces, clear ones or removable Invisalign™ braces. If you want your amazing teeth to stay in their perfect place, you need to wear a retainer.

But for how long?

At Dawson Dental, we recommend that after you get your braces off, you wear your retainer day and night for at least 3 to 6 months, then you may be able to switch to just night time wear for at least one year. Some dentists will recommend that you wear a retainer for at least as long as you had the braces on.

Vivera clear retainer

To maintain your movie star smile, we suggest wearing your retainer three times per week … for the rest of your life. Sounds harsh? If you don’t want your teeth to shift or avoid ever having to get braces back on again in the future, you need to stick with your retainer.

Recommended wear schedule for retainers after braces

24/hours a day (take it out to eat) For 3 to 6 months
Night time only For 6 to 12 months
3 to 5 times/week at night For the rest of your life

Forever – that’s kind of long isn’t it?

Yes, we know that seems daunting but just by wearing your retainer at night several times a week for the rest of your life you can keep your perfect smile. As we get older, our teeth tend to move forward and inward. Wearing a retainer helps prevent your teeth from shifting with age.

Retainers Program  

When you finish your treatment and your braces come off, we offer a Retainers Program at Dawson Dental. Contact the closest location to you to learn more.

Different retainers for different budgets

Retainers, which ever type you choose are always encouraged at the end of your Invisalign or traditional orthodontic braces treatment. If your benefits covered your treatment, they will more than likely cover your retainer cost. If you don’t have benefits that’s okay, we will suggest the best option for you based on your budget.

Dawson also offers clear retainers, which are virtually invisible. They range from $571 to $781 (both arches), but are generally covered by insurance. Lingual wires are also available and cost $195 per arch.


Visit our retainers page for more information and contact information for your local braces professional.

You’ve made it through the hardest part of braces. Do you really want to have to put braces back on your teeth in the future if they’ve shifted too much? So bite the bullet …well, actually the retainer … and wear it!

Dental costs can be expensive when not covered by an insurance plan. Here are 8 money saving tips for braces (and retainers) if your dental costs are not covered.


Dawson Dental Centres are knowledgeable, caring and have 13 locations across Ontario including dentists in Toronto, Cambridge, Aurora and more. We offer General & Cosmetic Dentistry services such as dental implantsInvisalign invisible braces and dental veneers. New patients welcome!

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