Loving my new smile but need some retainer advice please?!

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Loving my new smile but need some retainer advice please?!

#1 Post by Lisa1984 »

Hi all my names Lisa and I live in Scotland :) I have been browsing the site over the last 20 months of my braces journey and its been a great source of information and encouragement seeing other peoples progress. I finally took the step to get braces at the age of 28 after years of hiding my smile and feeling really self concious. Finally got my braces off two weeks ago and I can honestly say it was worth every second. If you are reading this and thinking about getting braces I would say go for it! It is amazing what ortho treatment can do, I just wish I did it years ago.

I am just a little worried about my teeth moving back, my ortho has given me the clear retainers, I was to wear them everyday and night for two weeks and them switch to just at night. Today was my first day not wearing them and when I went to put my retainer back.in it was really tight and difficult to put in on one side, are my teeth moving already? Is this normal? I was going to call my ortho for advice but dont want to seem like a panic merchant since its only day 1 :) Also I was never offered fixed retainers, is this something only certain people can get?

Any help/advice appreciated as I am panicing that my teeth are going to move if I dont wear the retainer all the time.

Thanks Lisa

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Re: Loving my new smile but need some retainer advice please

#2 Post by kathydell »

I am just approaching debrace date in about a month and my ortho said to set my expectations I would have to wear my retainer 24/7 except for eating for 3-6 months depending on how I do and then switch over to every night probably forever. Keep in mind that I was 47 when I got braces and that could have something to do with it because adult orthodonture needs more retention. Two weeks doesn't seem right though. You should definitely ask. And I would wear it all the time until you get an answer. You don't want to backtrack on that beautiful smile!

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Re: Loving my new smile but need some retainer advice please

#3 Post by sirwired »

I'm still on 24x7 Hawleys six months out. (I have an upper Essix I can wear during the day, but I work from home, so I don't actually wear it much.) If my retainers are out of my mouth for more than a couple hours they are tight. And even though the Essix and Hawley are made from the same mold, I can even feel the difference between the two. (Putting in the Essix hurts if I haven't used it in a while.) It's totally normal for your mouth to move some during the day, and it doesn't take much movement at all for the Essix to feel tight.

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Re: Loving my new smile but need some retainer advice please

#4 Post by TheKT »

Sirwired and those who had to move from braces to retainers 24/7 for a period of time after debraced, which is better for you, braces or the retainer? Would you have preferred to stay in braces for that time that you are in retainer 24/7?

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Re: Loving my new smile but need some retainer advice please

#5 Post by Snowglobe32 »

I have had my braces off for almost a year...just because the ortho said you only needed to wear them full time for 2 weeks then switch to night time wear only, doesn't mean you have to listen. As long as you wear your retainers, the teeth will retain the proper position.

The fact that they feel tight when you take them off for some time, then put them back in, tells me you aren't ready to be out of 24/7 wear just yet. I worry when I see people not having to wear their retainers 24/7 for less than 6 months...

Good luck!

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Re: Loving my new smile but need some retainer advice please

#6 Post by TMJJill »

I got my braces off last September. I wore my Essix style retainers 24/7 for the first month, then went to nighttime only. That has worked for me.

I agree with Snowglobe though. If they feel tight when you put them in, you may want to wearing them more frequently for a while.

Braces as Phase II treatment for TMJD.
Lower mandibular repositioning splint 26 months.
Lower braces on 10.75 months into Phase II treatment.
Duration in braces: 2 years, 2 weeks, 5 days
Removal of Braces: September 18, 2013

TMJD treatment now complete!

Posts: 929
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:05 am
Location: UK

Re: Loving my new smile but need some retainer advice please

#7 Post by jem »

Hi Lisa,

I understand that some orthos believe that wearing essix retainers 24/7 for a protracted period can lead to the development of an open bite, hence the quite common essix retention regime of 24/7 for 2 weeks and then 12/7 thereafter.

I agree that if your retainers feel very tight when you put them in , you probably need to wear them longer, irrespective of what your ortho has recommended. You need to discuss this with your ortho and I would suggest booking an appointment with your ortho to discuss retention. If your ortho does have concerns re 24/7 wearing of essix retainers possibly causing an open bite in your case, you might consider switching to hawley and/or fixed retainers.

With regard to fixed or bonded retainers, many people have these on their bottom front teeth as these teeth are particularly prone to relapse and fixed retainers are the best way of preventing that. Not many people can have fixed retainers on the back of their top teeth because an ideal occlusion of the teeth means that the lower teeth will probably make contact with the fixed retainer and damage it.

Fixed retainers have their disadvantages in terms of difficulty in cleaning and flossing and they can also come unstuck, possibly leading to relapse if you do not keep an eye on them. They are best used in combination with removable retainers at night.

Because I do not have much depth of bite,I was able to have a fixed retainer on my top teeth. I didn't have a brace on my bottom teeth so no need for bottom retainer. I was also given an essix retainer for night time use. I paid extra for a hawley so that I would have a more durable retainer for the longer term.

For the first 6 months post debracing, I was told to wear either the hawley or the essix 12/7 on top of the fixed retainer. Trying to be a very diligent patient, I wore the essix 24/7 for 3 months (preferring its appearance to the hawley). I think it did open my bite up a bit so I went back to 12/7. Like Sirwired, I noticed that my hawley and essix fitted slightly differently so I decided that I would only use the hawley from then on.

At my 6 month retainer check, I was told to wear my hawley 8/7 for the second 6 months. At my recent ( and final) 12 month check up, I was told that I need only wear the hawley for whatever time I am sleeping and do not need to make it up to 8 hours. But I must continue to wear my fixed and hawley retainers on an indefinite basis. If my fixed retainer comes unstuck, I have to wear the hawley 24/7 until it is repaired.

I hope this is useful.

Hope you enjoyed the Commonwealth games as much as I did.

Sectional brace with Damon clear brackets fitted to front 6 upper teeth 3 January 2012
Brackets added to premolars 2 April 2012
Estimated treatment time originally 6-9 months
. Brace removed on 22 July 2013 after 18 months and 19 days
Now enjoying bonded upper retainer plus part time essix/hawley( I have both)

Click here for my story http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=42194

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