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kittykat219's avatar

Getting my braces out. Retainer help!

Asked by kittykat219 (131 points ) July 15th, 2011

Hi
I am set to get my braces removed in a couple of days.
My dentist says that I will have to wear retainers which I am ok with.
But I then asked him how long would I have to wear them.
He just told me around six months. But he also added that it varies with people and the movement of their teeth.
He didn’t really add anything onto that.
Do I have to wear them 24/7? Because I’ve had my braces for a long time and I just want to be free (at least during the day) of those metal things.
Or can I only wear them at night until my teeth settle in place?
Or what if I went to school and then put them on when I got home? (3:30pm-8:00am, so around 17 hours?)
I’m not sure about this stuff so hopefully you can help. (:

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14 Answers

Paul's avatar

My orthodontist told me to keep it in for six YEARS but to only wear it while sleeping. I’m sure different dentists will have different recommendations. I’d ask him again, also is it a plastic one?

kittykat219's avatar

I’m not sure yet if it’s plastic or not, but knowing my dentist he will probably give me a metal one. :(

Paul's avatar

I’d ask him next time you see him.

redfeather's avatar

Wear them as much as you possibly can. Retainers hurt a bit so I wore mine at night and skipped nights. My teeth shifted and I couldn’t get my retainer in anymore. They’re still pretty straight but not as perfect as they were. Trust me, wear them as often as possible.

zenvelo's avatar

My son just got his braces off. He has to wear his retainer 24/7 (except for eating) for 3 months, then if all looks good he can go to night time only.

I did not wear my retainer enough when I got my braces off in high school. I ended up having to get braces again when I was 32.

SpatzieLover's avatar

My husband wore his retainer constantly for about one year. It was then determined that he needed a permanent retainer installed on his bottom teeth.

If you want to retain all of the work your braces did, wear your retainer as often as you can. You’ll be more aware of if/where your teeth are still shifting. If the shifting continues, you can discuss it with your orthodontist.

troubleinharlem's avatar

If you don’t wear them then your teeth will possibly slip – I didn’t wear mine after the year that the orthodontist said and my space is coming back. Now I wear it all the time when I’m at home to make sure it doesn’t slip again.

You might have to get braces again if you don’t! That’s no fun.

kittykat219's avatar

But if I wear them for a set time day my teeth won’t move right?

SpatzieLover's avatar

You need to wear them all day. You will get lax and forget if you don’t. You take the retainer out to eat, brush your teeth, clean the retainer and when you drink hot liquids. Otherwise, the retainer is in your mouth.

CWOTUS's avatar

I had my braces taken off about 40 years ago. I was given a rubber-like retainer that I was supposed to wear for two hours per day and all night.

I gave it up after about a month. I couldn’t stand to willingly put myself through more of that bullshit. (Because in truth, the retainer was also completing the ‘guidance’ of my teeth, so it was as painful as the damned braces always were when they had been “adjusted” – and you know what that can be like.)

So (since I was away at college anyway, and with no one to hover and ‘make sure’) I simply chucked the damn thing.

And my teeth have been fine (from an orthodontic point of view) ever since. I also stopped seeing the orthodontist and saved my folks a small boatful of money, too.

This is not a medical / dental / orthodontic recommendation, just one young man’s experience.

Only138's avatar

Don’t accidentally throw it away at a fast food restaurant. I’ve seen too many people dumpster diving trying to find their retainer. :)

Carly's avatar

This is how my experience was: I wore them 24/7 (unless I was eating). I lost them twice at school, at lunchtime (like Only138 just said, above). My dog ate one once when I was at home and eventually I lost my last pair after a year of having them. Now my teeth are a bit crooked, and I’ll probably have to get them straightened again.

My sister had braces too, and she decided to only wear her retainers at night. She told me that they felt tight when she put them on, but fine when she woke up. She never lost them, and to this day (about 8 years later) she still wears them. Her teeth are still picture perfect.

sliceswiththings's avatar

WEAR THEM! I, too, wanted to be free and was really bad at wearing them. Now I’m 23 and my teeth are terrible again. I can’t get my retainers in. It’s worth having metal/plastic for a while more to have great teeth your whole life.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Follow whatever the orthodontist’s advice is. The wonderful thing about retainers is that they can be removed based upon your needs. The key is to not stop wearing them over time if you want to maintain straight teeth.

Out of the four of our parents’ children, all of us had braces. I’m the only one that kept wearing my retainers at night. While the siblings don’t have dental problems, all three have experienced their teeth shifting to a point where it is noticeable. Mine have not. 25 years later, I still own the original retainers, and while they are rarely worn, they still fit.

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