8 years later teeth moving, retainer question

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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cool username
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:02 pm

8 years later teeth moving, retainer question

#1 Post by cool username » Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:16 pm

Hello everyone

I had my braces off when I was 13. I'm 21 now. I wore my retainer til I was 15 and stopped... I know, I know, bad! My retainer hasn't fit for years and years but my teeth have always looked/felt fine. A few months ago I noticed my teeth shifting. They hurt sometimes, and where they were smooth across just 4 months ago they are now slightly overlapping. They are showing no signs of stopping. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this. Will they stop? Why are they all of a sudden doing this? Will they become as awful and ugly as before braces?

So, there is no hope of my retainer ever fitting again. However I'm okay with the way my teeth look now. I just don't want them to get worse. I know my overbite is back and an orthodontist would probably reccommend I go through braces again. Does anyone think someone would just make me a retainer? Also, can anyone tell me an estimate of the cost? I only want one for the top teeth.

Thank you for reading and thanks in advance for any advice. I spend so much of my time worrying about this :( thanks guys

Bullfighter
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Location: San Diego, CA

Re: 8 years later teeth moving, retainer question

#2 Post by Bullfighter » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:38 pm

One possibility is that you have "tongue thrust", a form of improper swallowing. That can force your teeth forward over time.

It's fairly common, and there are speech therapists who can diagnose it and treat it.

cool username
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:02 pm

Re: 8 years later teeth moving, retainer question

#3 Post by cool username » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:48 am

Thanks for the idea.. I googled it and I don't think that's what my problem is, but thanks.

I guess I just really want to know if an ortho will make me a retainer even though I probably need braces again and I don't want to. And for a ballpark estimate of cost with no coverage.

Thanks

Jethro
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Re: 8 years later teeth moving, retainer question

#4 Post by Jethro » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:28 pm

Our teeth tend shift throughout our lifetime. For some people it is minimal, and for others, like me, it is significant. Based on what you indicated, I suspect that your teeth will continue to shift/relapse without intervention...that was my experience too. I would definitely schedule a consultation with an ortho to see what your options are.

Coincidentally, a guy came into my ortho's office the day I was getting debanded complaining of a similar problem as yours. The ortho thought it could be treated (or at least stabilized) with retainers and would cost a few hundred dollars.

Good luck and let us know how things turn out.

cool username
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:02 pm

Re: 8 years later teeth moving, retainer question

#5 Post by cool username » Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:09 pm

Thanks for the info. You are probably right that they won't stop shifting. It. Just seems so sudden that they started shifting after so long!

I will definitely be visiting an ortho when I have some extra money and ill post anything they tell me and the outcome of any treatment

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methoddan
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Re: 8 years later teeth moving, retainer question

#6 Post by methoddan » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:08 pm

20 years later and I am back in braces for not wearing my retainer. My current ortho told me that retainers should be worn every night for the rest of my life after treatment.

cool username
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Re: 8 years later teeth moving, retainer question

#7 Post by cool username » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:13 pm

My ortho told me to wear ir every night for 3 years. I put in a good two years. Clearly I should have worn it for life..

I called a few orthos and got some price quotes for a retainer (around 250) but that's if an ortho will agree to make one for me and not do braces again. I'm ok with the way my teeth look, I just want them to stay this way... I'm going to make an appt in the next few weeks and will update

Wireless
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Location: Central Virginia

Re: 8 years later teeth moving, retainer question

#8 Post by Wireless » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:08 am

I've had two relapses because of past retainer recommendations and the shape of my lower jaws. My first ortho treatment was when I was a teenager back in the '60s. At that point, the belief was teeth wouldn't move after becoming an adult. I wore retainers full time for 2 years then at nights for 4 more. Then was told I didn't need to wear them any more. By the time I was in my late 30's the severe deep bite had returned. I had another treatment in the late 1980's and again no long term retainer was recommended. I've ended up with a third treatment - this time with Invisalign. After 2 1/2 years, I've made it to night retainers for life and am trying to be a lot more careful.

In my case, not only did my teeth return to their old position, but I had a lot of unnecessary wear on my front teeth and the deep bite returned to the point my lowers were cutting into my upper gums and chisling the enamel away from the base of one of my front uppers - very painful.

It will be worthwhile to have an ortho assessment before you experience further problems. Most docs don't charge for giving an opinion and you can probably get a couple of assessments. I found my teeth went back to a position that was more damaging than before earlier treatments. You can possibly avoid some serious problems by getting things checked out. Treatment will also be easier if you need it the sooner it is started and the younger you are.

cool username
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Re: 8 years later teeth moving, retainer question

#9 Post by cool username » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:42 pm

Thanks for the info Wireless. I hope mine haven't gotten that bad... we'll will see once I finally get to ann ortho. I really can't afford braces again :(

Wireless
Posts: 369
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Location: Central Virginia

Re: 8 years later teeth moving, retainer question

#10 Post by Wireless » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:10 pm

It will be a good idea to discuss your ortho problem with your dentist at your next checkup, and at least advise about your concerns with tooth movement.

I told my dental office about having teeth straightened when I started going to my present dentist probably about 15 years ago. However, I didn't provide any detailed history about having a relapse and retreatment. When my most recent problems started, I did wait too long to mention the problem and when I did it was mis-diagnosed as a "coffee burn". When the problem didn't clear, my dentist confirmed my lowers were hitting my upper gums. Before I could start ortho treatment, my gum had receded enough to expose the tooth root - very painful!! In retrospect, I wish I had done something sooner.

Your dentist should be able to see if your teeth are moving in a manner that could cause dental problems and other expenses that may not be avoidable.

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