That’s a great question and the simplest way to answer it is… how long do you want to have straight teeth? It may sound crazy but it’s almost like teeth have a memory. Without retainer wear, the roots of your teeth have a tendency to drift back to their original position (some people more than others). Everyone’s teeth are prone to move throughout their life and that includes people who have never worn braces. This is due to various things like tongue habits, lip pressure, clenching, etc. Regularly wearing your retainers will help to keep your teeth from moving. For the 1st month after our patients get their braces off, we recommend they wear their retainers 24/7 and then just at night for the rest of their life. If you forget to wear your retainers one night it shouldn’t be a problem but don’t make it a habit. If your retainers feel tight start wearing them 24 hours a day until they no longer feel tight. If you notice your teeth are moving call your orthodontist. The sooner you catch a problem the easier it is to fix.