If you have finished with your orthodontic treatment and are wearing retainers (or will be soon), this is a special place to connect with others in your (enviable) situation. Ask a question or make a comment about life post-braces.
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I had braces 20 years ago and wore my retainer pretty regularly at night for about 10 years. I moved and it got packed in a box and lost. I didn't worry too much, I figured my teeth were done moving. Then I found it a couple years ago, but it hurt to wear so I didn't bother. Obviously my teeth had shifted. Will my teeth continue to move? Should I get it replaced?
You need to go to an orthodontist for a consultation about this. Your old retainer doesn't fit anymore because your teeth moved, and they will continue to move if you don't wear a retainer. Forcing your old one to fit might not be a good idea. You might need a new one, and that involves getting a mold (or scan) of your teeth. It's best to get a professional opinion about this. Depending on the situation, the orthodontist might say that you could wear your old one -- but you won't know for sure until you see them.
I'm the owner/admin of this site. Had ceramic uppers, metal lowers ~3 years in my early 40's. Now in Hawley retainers at night!
So I took your advice and today I made some consultation appointments with local orthodontists. My old retainer isn't in very good shape anyway, trying to force it to fit is out of the question. At the minimum I'm going to have new retainers made to keep my teeth from moving more. I've had 3 crowns in the last few years which has made the problem even worse. My lower is now especially crowded and is pushing my canines forward. When I bite my front teeth touch before my back, which is going to push my top teeth forward again. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm considering getting braces again at 42. There are more discreet choices out there now and my new job covers most of the cost, which is awesome. I hate to admit it, but I'm having trouble getting past how people are going to react, especially my wife and 4 kids.
Your family will get over it pretty quickly. As for your coworkers or other friends, my experience is that they either don't notice or care. I have had coworkers from a neighboring team ask me a year into treatment since when did I get braces, and my hair dresser who I've been to for the past 6 years also asked me the same question when I was already 1.5.years in. Literally no one noticed, and similarly, no one is going to notice when I get my braces off too.
Well over the next 2 weeks I have 5 consult appointments, I'll decide what to do after I know what my options are. I'm even going to see my original orthodontist and they still have my old records, lol. It feels like overkill to go through a full round of braces again just to fix some minor alignment issues on my front teeth. I've been told there are active retainer appliances worn at night only that can correct that kind of thing. Anyone ever heard of that? You're right though, I'm sure co-workers won't notice or care. We pay attention and stress about things that most people don't. I'm going to try to keep that in mind as I make my decision. My daughter will need braces soon, so if braces are recommended I'm going to coordinate getting them with her. That would actually be fun.