How long did you wear your retainers?

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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Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

How long did you wear your retainers?

#1 Post by therampagerado » Sat May 05, 2012 4:18 am

Hello people! :P

I'm scheduled for moulds in 1 month time and braces 2 weeks after that so I have few questions floating in my empty head (soon to be full of metal bits and pieces :P )...

When I was at my check I forgot to ask the ortho for how long I would have to wear my retainers after I'm finished and I'm reading stories here for 'six months 24/7 and then night time 'only' for life'... And to tell you honestly I'm not impressed with that. I choose Damon metal braces hoping they will do the job better and faster and I'm not looking forward to the idea of wearing retainers all my life. :crazy:

When I go to the ortho this would be one of my first questions but until then could you share for how long you have to wear those.

I have rotated incisors, little bit of spaces between my tops and crowding on my bottom. Deep bite also...


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Re: How long did you wear your retainers?

#2 Post by BellaBraces » Sat May 05, 2012 8:30 am

My dentist says you need to wear a retainer for as long as you want straight teeth!

I think after a year or so you can go down to once every other night or something. You could, I suppose, look into one of those fixed retainers rather than a removable. I don't want a fixed retainer long term but I might consider it for the first 6 months to a year when you are supposed to wear the retainer as often as you possibly can.

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Re: How long did you wear your retainers?

#3 Post by KUMonkeyMomma » Sun May 06, 2012 6:06 am

I was also told for life - pretty much as long as I want my teeth the way they are now post invisalign. If I get too old to care what they look like or get dementia and forget to wear them (and at that point maybe wouldn't care/remember what they looked like anyhow LOL) that's when I'll stop wearing them. I didn't pay this much money just to let them go back to how they were!
Started treatment 9/2/09
Treatment finished 4/27/11

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Location: England, UK

Re: How long did you wear your retainers?

#4 Post by hotsteve » Sat May 12, 2012 5:44 am

Yeah retention really is (or should be ;) ) for life.

Ultimately, your teeth are always moving (with or without having had braces). So for us who have worn braces, there is a big chance of relapse (teeth going back to how they used to look) if we do not always wear retainers.

Here's the good news though - everyone I know who has had braces, probably stopped wearing retainers after a year or so, with most of them still having straight teeth even years later. Are they as straight as when the braces first came off? Probably not. But maybe as straight as someone who never had braces in the first place.

The bad news? I also know a lot of people who's teeth did relapse once retainers came off. The worst thing is, it normally happens gradually, so you would never realise it was happening until it was too late. I can only imagine how p'ed off I would feel if that happens, which is why i intend to wear retainers for life!!

But if it really bothers you, here is a good way to approach it I think (I am no professional, but Im sure your dentist could advise!):
  • - Wear retainers as much as possible for year 1
    - Then, try wearing them only at night - if they do not feel tight when putting them back on again the following night, stick with nightly wear for 6 months.
    - Then, try wearing them only once every two nights. Again, if they don't feel tight when you next wear them, stick with every 2 nights for another 6-12 months. If they do feel tight, continue wearing every night, and try every two nights further down the line.
    - Follow on the same process (wearing less and less, providing they never feel tight), until eventually you almost never wear them.
Again, the risk of not wearing them is that your teeth will move. But maybe if you follow the above routine, it will only be slight movement over your lifetime, rather than complete relapse.

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