I had finished with my braces and my dentist provided me with a retainer. He instructed me to wear it day and night for a while and then I could switch only to nighttime wear. Everything was fine at first, then I noticed some of the teeth seemed to shift a few years later. I went to see a new dentist because I’d moved. He created a new retainer for me and gave me the same instructions as my previous dentist. I’ve noticed, even after a year, if the retainer is out for more than a few hours the teeth shift. Is this normal? I haven’t switched to wearing them just at night because I don’t want my teeth being shifted back and forth. What do I do?
I want to say first you are showing great wisdom and foresight in how you’re handling this. No, it isn’t normal for your teeth to shift like this, especially after such a short period of time. However, it is the position you find yourself in so we have to find the best way to deal with it. You have a few options:
- You can continue wearing your retainer 24/7. This will work, but you may get tired of having a retainer on your smile.
- Have a Teeth Whitening Splint Made. One thing your dentist can do is make you a teeth whitening splint. This is a custom-fitted tray to your bite. They’re less noticeable than a retainer. Plus, you have the bonus of being able to whiten your teeth once a year at the same time.
- Have a Permanent Retainer Made. An orthodontist can permanently attach a retainer to the back of your teeth. The benefit is no one will know you’re constantly wearing a retainer. The downside is you will need a floss threader to adequately get between everything and thoroughly clean your teeth.
Obviously, with the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re recommending only dental emergencies be looked at during this time. Until this passes, keep that retainer in.
This blog is brought to you by the Cleveland Dentists at Angel Dental Care.