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A 43-year-old member asked:

should i still be wearing my retainer 5 years after?

7 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Janelle Ferber-Stumpf
Dentistry 38 years experience
Yes: If you want to keep your teeth in the same position, then wear your retainer. Teeth move for a lifetime. How much and where they move to depends on you muscles, bite and habits. Without the retainer, expect shifting. Relapse is common after braces are, removed, no matter how much time has passed. You might consider having permanent retainer wires bonded if you don't like removable retainers.
Dr. David Chrisman
Cosmetic Dentistry 33 years experience
You could just sleep with them at night. It is enough to retain them in the same position without relapse.
Jun 16, 2013
Dr. Jerry Hu
Dr. Jerry Hu answered
Cosmetic Dentistry 23 years experience
YES: Count on wearing your retainers for life unless you want changes in your teeth positions and bite.
Dr. Alvis Burris
Cosmetic Dentistry 23 years experience
Forever: We always inform patients the chance of relapse is high without retainer.
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Orthodontics 28 years experience
Yes: I wear them, at least for sleeping, for many more years to come to keep your teeth from shifting.
Dr. Gary Brigham
Orthodontics 51 years experience
Protect your smile: Orthodontic retention is a lifetime endeavor, as tissues change over time, and teeth will always have a tendency to shift. Wearing your retained as directed and replacing it when needed will protect your investment in your smile.
Dr. Raj Upadya
Cosmetic Dentistry 24 years experience
Yes: There are so many factors that can shift your teeth... Wearing your retainers is your safest bet to prevent relapse...
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
Yes: It's not like putting steel posts into concrete. Supporting bone will change. Teeth will shift. If you want to minimize relapse, wear your retainers. Know also that as clear aligners do not straighten teeth as well as braces, prolonged retention is even more important. Best suggestion, see your treating Dentist or (hopefully) Orthodontic Specialist.

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Similar questions

A 26-year-old female asked:

Why does a gap reopen even with permanent retainers on?

6 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stephen Sandler
Dentistry 49 years experience
Check retainer: Depends what kind of retainer. With a bonded lingual retainer there should be no gap. If the retainer is removable then it is not fitting correctly and needs to be refit or remade.
A 35-year-old member asked:

How long do I have to wear my retainer?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 54 years experience
Instructions?: This varies from individual to individual and from case to case. Your orthodontist should have given you some instructions upon completion of your case. Call him\her or ask your own general dentist for advice. It varies from a year to forever.
A 47-year-old member asked:

I lost my retainer. How can I get a new one?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arnold Beresh
Podiatry 41 years experience
Talk to dentist: Go to the dentist and explain what happened. He/she will be happy to make you a new one.
A 27-year-old female asked:

I just started wearing my retainer again and now have a hard little bump on the right side of my hard pallette--- should I be concerned?

8 doctor answers19 doctors weighed in
Dr. Donald Rollofson
Dentistry 45 years experience
Ask orthodontist: Whenever you are wearing a retainer it should periodically be checked by your orthodontist. The mouth is always changing , if only just a little bit, and requires professional maintainence . It may require a little polishing or adjustment or may be something that requires further study or observation.
A 43-year-old member asked:

What occurs if i don't wear my retainer?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Dabney
Orthodontics 41 years experience
Bad stuff: Everyone is different but if you do not wear your retainer please expect teeth to move. If you were to lose weight by adating to a new diet what would happen if you started eating pizza and fries?

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Last updated Dec 9, 2016
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