Ahh yes, the million dollar question. Our Phoenix orthodontist (and staff) will quickly respond: “Only as long as you want your teeth to stay straight!” I can personally attest to this unfortunate truth.
Back in the “dark ages,” when I had braces at 19 years old, the orthodontist had told me that after the wisdom teeth come in (or were removed) and the teeth had been stable for a couple of years . . . I wouldn’t need them anymore. I’m here to tell you–THAT’S NOT THE CASE!! Been through braces twice and a set of active retainers to move my teeth back to their ideal positions, because that philosophy didn’t work.
I guess it makes sense, really. Just like everything else on your body, your teeth shift or change your whole life. (After all, if they didn’t, we probably couldn’t be a Phoenix or Scottsdale orthodontist that does adult treatment. . . .now could we?!) As we “mature,” we notice that our weight doesn’t stay the same, our eyesight changes, we notice skin differences, etc. . . . why would our teeth be any different? Why even people who never had a set of Phoenix braces as an adolescent notice that their teeth shift over time.
In conclusion all I can say is . . . I’ve dyed my hair more times than I care to count, but it grows out and I have to dye it again. I was born a brunette and no matter how many times I dye my hair blonde, it’s not going to magically grow in blonde one day. Just like your hair color, genetics determined where your teeth were, and to some degree, they will always want to influence their positions. Sooo, you may not have to wear your retainer(s) all the time every day, but you should wear them a minimun of 1-2 times a week in your sleep. That’s IF you want to keep that perfect smile that your Phoenix or Scottsdale orthodontist helped you attain! (**Some people may need to wear them more. Everyone’s situation is different & should follow their orthodontist’s recommendation.)