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Wearing a retainer for life? Is this the new standard?


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#1 FloridaLisa

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:06 PM

My son just got his braces off and his orthodontist said he would have a retainer to wear daily for two years and then at night for the rest of his life? What?!:001_huh: When he's married? When he's 49?

I recall wearing my retainer at night for a couple of years and then throwing it away. No problems. Is a retainer for life the new standard?

Lisa


#2 stripe

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:11 PM

I got my retainer off a long time ago. Every once in a while I feel my teeth drifting and my jaw gets kind of sore and I wear it again.

#3 bookmomma

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:16 PM

I think it depends on the severity of his teeth. If he had slightly crooked teeth, they are less prone to go crooked again, but if he had very crooked teeth, they are very likely to be crooked again without regular use of the retainer.

I am speaking from experience. My dh had braces for 5 yrs, threw his retainer away, and now has very crooked teeth. His teeth don't even come together enough to bite into food. And he feels too old to get them now. I had braces in adulthood, after having very crooked teeth. I wore my retainer faithfully--until I was pregnant and had terrible headaches, which were intensified by the pressure of the retainer. I stopped wearing it for a long time, and yes, my teeth are moving again. I'm getting back into the routine of wearing it at night again, and it helps.

#4 NicksMama-Zack's Mama Too

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:22 PM

but I paid for my own braces -- so I have motivation.

However, the kid's pediatric dentist said that if a patients bite is corrected correctly, they should not need a retainer. If the teeth are aligned and your bite is correct, there is no reason you teeth should move.

I'm not sure I'd bet on it.

K

#5 Lisa R.

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:23 PM

your life.

He says that the teeth will always want to go back to where they were before the braces. He has many adult patients that are in braces again even though they had them as a teenager.

#6 MommyX8

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:27 PM

I just bought a new retainer for my 22 year old. Our orthodontist said that he wears his own retainer every third night (he is around 40). My daughter requested one as she felt that her teeth were shifting over time.

#7 missplacedalaskan

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:29 PM

When Dd got her braces off (6/2006) the Orthodontist told her to wear the retainer nightly for 6 months and then she could wear it less eventually going to once a week with it. She is ok with that and wears it once a week now.

#8 Tabrett

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:32 PM

I had braces in middle school and now I have braces again at 37. I wish I had worn my retainer "for life". I won't make that mistake again.

#9 Highereducation

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:43 PM

I had braces in middle school and now I have braces again at 37. I wish I had worn my retainer "for life". I won't make that mistake again.



I had braces in middle school as well and I have considered getting braces put back on. My top teeth stayed in place pretty well but the bottom ones went back to being slightly crooked.

It's frustrating. Had I known back then that there was any chance of them moving, I would have had no problem keeping my retainer and wearing it a few nights a week! At the time my orthodontist didn't think it was necessary.

A few little girls from our church have recently gotten braces at dd's age (8). I was surprised by it; I have no background in dentistry whatsoever, but I can't understand putting braces on before the majority of the adult teeth have come in - wouldn't that simply up the odds of having a less than stellar result?

#10 Steph

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:52 PM

That was the standard when I had braces in high school. In fact, I have a permanent retainer in my mouth on the bottom. And dh and I both still have/wear retainers...

#11 Sugarfoot

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:55 PM

My retainer is on my bathroom counter as I write this. I had braces at 15 and then again as an adult. My perfectly straight teeth gradually became crooked enough again to warrant a second round of orthodontia. Ugh. Yes, my second orthodontist said to wear it at night forever, although I don't. I wear it for a few hours a few times a week. He also said that keeping it moist would ensure that it keeps its original shape, which means that it would keep my teeth in their proper corrected alignment. I did that for awhile, but honestly, I just couldn't keep it up.

HTH,

#12 OH_Homeschooler

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:00 PM

My son just got his braces off and his orthodontist said he would have a retainer to wear daily for two years and then at night for the rest of his life? What?!:001_huh: When he's married? When he's 49?

I recall wearing my retainer at night for a couple of years and then throwing it away. No problems. Is a retainer for life the new standard?

Lisa


I got my braces off when I was 12, and was given this advice. I now wear it about every other night. After those two years of pain I am not risking it.

#13 Desert Rat

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:33 PM

Yup, I wasn't told this advise. My lower teeth are okay and my upper are mostly fine after 22 years without braces but my teeth are moving. One of my eyeteeth is kicking sideways. It doesn't bother me. I think it gives my smile a little character. But it would bother some people and I've had dentists comment (negatively) on it.
I still choose not to wear my retainer.

#14 sixpence1978

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:35 PM

I wear mine at night still because my DH has to. He went through a round of braces at 12, wore his retainer for a few months and then stopped. His teeth went back to their original (very crooked position). So after he went through another round of braces, he now wears his every night (unless he is sick). When he misses a night, he says his retainer is very painful the next day.

I could probably wear mine just a couple of times a week and be fine. I had my jaw expanded during my braces stint, so my teeth probably wouldn't go all the way back to the way they were. But I do notice some shifting and even pressure on my jaw when I miss too many nights.

#15 Liz CA

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 04:40 PM

I got my retainer off a long time ago. Every once in a while I feel my teeth drifting and my jaw gets kind of sore and I wear it again.


Yes, teeth move throughout your life - or they can. I had braces and wore nothing for twenty some years and had to start again with a retainer to get everything in line. Now i just wear it at night.

#16 eaglei

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 05:28 PM

Our orthodontist recommends wearing a retainer a few times a week...for the rest of your life.

He says that the teeth will always want to go back to where they were before the braces. He has many adult patients that are in braces again even though they had them as a teenager.


Yep. Same thing our orthodontist said.

#17 Mommyof4ks

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 06:09 PM

I wish my ortho would have told me that when I got my braces off. My teeth were REALLY bad, but 12 years later my teeth are drifting back and I will probably end up with braces again *sigh*.

#18 FloridaLisa

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 06:16 PM

Wow. I'm apparently waaay behind the info curve on that one. His teeth were not very crooked, but still -- who wants to undo $4500 worth of work! Okay, then. I'll reassure him he can take it off for his honeymoon, but his future wife better get used to him wearing it a few nights a week!

Lisa


#19 Mom2GirlsTX

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 06:53 PM

Wow, the things I learn on this board! I've been out of braces about 27 years and wore them for 5 years, headgear included (blek!) My teeth have stayed pretty straight except for one in the far back that is terribly crooked, but you can't see it. I wonder about having an orthodontist recheck my teeth and maybe get a retainer? Or am I pretty safe they are going to stay straight after 27 years out of them? (they really are straight, but my teeth were awful before and I had a horrible overbite, and wearing that awful headgear every night for 5 years)

I am waiting to have dd#1 put in braces, no orthodontist has wanted to proceed as she has 11 baby teeth still needing to come out and she is 11. I keep hoping those baby teeth will go so we can get her into braces, she is really bothered by how her teeth are looking. I'm glad I now know that a retainer will be her life long buddy.

#20 MKS

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:33 PM

Horror story time...

One of my very close friends had a brother only 10 months older than she was. We lived on the same street growing up; all three of us were in the same grade in school. Both my friend and her brother had seriously jacked up teeth, and went through 3-5 years of orthodontia. Not just a minor cosmetic kind of jacked up, either- the kind where you can't clean your teeth properly and risk serious decay.

The brother had the worst end of it. He missed most of our freshman year because he had to have his jaw broken twice. No, they didn't screw it up the first time- his teeth were that bad.

Anyway, the brother gave up wearing his retainer after about five years. Within five years of that, he lost all four of his top front teeth. Wearing dentures before the age of 30. Not good.

#21 Ria

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:44 PM

Add me to the "I've had braces twice " crowd. I wear my retainer every night now. I'm 45.

Ria

#22 Cafelattee

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:48 PM

ds got braces off last summer, was told to wear retainer for life. He also has a permanent wire on the back of the front bottom teeth.

We joke about his $6000.00 dollar mouth. My dh want let him forget. I can see the adult phone call "son you still wearing the retainer, you remember all that money I spent" :tongue_smilie:

#23 HootyTooty

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 08:16 PM

I had braces from the time I was 9 to the time I was 13. I was advised, lectured, warned to wear my retainer every day with no end date. I stopped when I got to college and sure enough the top shifted (not drastically), enough that I needed a new retainer. I also have a bottom row retained that is cemented on to the teeth.

#24 coffeefreak

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:55 PM

Your mouth changes as you age. Your jaw grows narrow and pointed. I am currently in braces because my parents didn't think braces were "necessary." My teeth were not that crooked, but my bite was off because one eye tooth did not come in properly. Over time, that eye tooth stuck out and I had TMJ, headaches and could only chew on one side of my mouth. They have told me to wear my retainers (I get them in March - YEAH!!!) every night for the rest of my life and trust me, I will!!!

Orthodontia is just like any form of medicine, it changes because they learn more and more every year. They now know that regardless of what was done when you were young, your teeth WILL change and try to go back to their original state. They also know that Orthodontia and the entire health of your mouth is VITAL to your overall health. I was a couple of years away from major surgery and cracked teeth. They also know that there are better alternatives to headgear, wired jaws and huge brackets.

Blessings!
Dorinda

#25 Hillary in KS

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:57 AM

My dh was like you. He wore his retainer until he got to college, and then threw it away. His teeth have drifted a bit, but nothing dramatic.

Our ortho now say to wear the retainer nightly for 2 years. After that, just wear it 2-3 nights a week.

#26 Ellie

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 01:48 AM

Both of my dds finished with their braces almost 20 years ago; both have permanent retainers on their lower teeth which will be there forever, both were supposed to wear their upper retainers forever, but they don't.

#27 LaMere Academy

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:42 AM

My son just got his braces off and his orthodontist said he would have a retainer to wear daily for two years and then at night for the rest of his life? What?!:001_huh: When he's married? When he's 49?

I recall wearing my retainer at night for a couple of years and then throwing it away. No problems. Is a retainer for life the new standard?

Lisa


Our ortho says the same thing and I was also shocked.

#28 Frontier Mom

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:50 AM

Since I have braces on again now, I wish I had and I certainly will when I get these things off.

#29 Starr

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:03 AM

My teeth shifted over the years. :(

#30 coffeefreak

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:29 PM

Since I have braces on again now, I wish I had and I certainly will when I get these things off.


When do you get yours off? We should have a Party!
Blessings!
Dorinda

#31 katemary63

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:53 PM

Our orthodontist told my daughter she did not have to wear her retainer for life! He said she only had to wear it as long as she wanted straight teeth! :tongue_smilie:


#32 Celly B

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:31 PM

[quote name='coffeefreak']Your mouth changes as you age. Your jaw grows narrow and pointed.

That's interesting and explains my situation. When I was young, I had a horrible overbite--90% the orthodontist said. I couldn't even bite into an apple, and the orthodontist started me in braces in third grade with some trepidation that if it didn't work, I would have to have my jaw broken. I wore braces on and off (with various headgear and bite correctors) for seven years, but it worked! When I got them off in high school, I was given a retainer for my bottom teeth, which I wore faithfully at night, probably through college. I stopped wearing it at night in my twenties, and now at 15 years later, my bottom front teeth are crooked! At least my overbite is not coming back (I fervently hope!).


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