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Do You Have To Wear A Retainer Forever

by Annabel Caldwell
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Do You Have To Wear A Retainer Forever

Do You Have To Wear A Retainer Forever

After 12 months of continuous retainer wear, we often recommend that you to continue to wear your retainers at night 3-5 times a week for life. The reason we recommend this cycle of wear is due to the slow shifting of teeth forward and inward as we get older.

My mom has been wearing her retainers 24/7 since she was 16 years old. She wears them because it helps keep her teeth in place and prevents any possible tooth movement during sleep. I’ve heard many people say they don’t like wearing their retainers at all. Some even think its unhealthy and can cause problems down the road. But do you have to wear your retainers forever? Is there really no way out? Or does it just come down to how much pain you’re willing to endure?
First off, let’s talk about what exactly happens when our teeth shift during sleep. Our natural teeth are attached to bone via cement called “dental ligaments.” These ligaments allow our teeth to move with very little resistance. However, if we damage these ligaments (through trauma or grinding), then our teeth will not only be less likely to move but also may become stuck in an undesirable position. If this occurs, it could lead to complications such as dry sockets, gum irritation, jawbone fractures, etc. This is why it’s so important to wear your retainers every day to prevent any potential tooth shifts from occurring.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that patients should wear their retainers 20 hours per day, 7 days per week. They suggest keeping your mouth clean by brushing twice daily, flossing once weekly, and using dental hygiene products such as gels, sprays, and wipes. It goes without saying that you’re going to want to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, chewing tobacco, and other hard chews such as popcorn kernels.
But after 12 months of continuous retainer wear, we often recommend that you to continue to wear your retainers at night 3-5 times a week for life. The reason we recommend this cycle of wear is due to the slow shifting of teeth forward and inward as we get older. As time passes, the roots of our teeth slowly lose contact with the bone. Over time, the amount of space between each root and the bone decreases until eventually, the periodontal ligament becomes stretched beyond capacity. When this happens, the bones will begin to shrink away from the roots of our teeth creating a gap between the teeth and the bone. Without proper intervention, this process can happen gradually over several years.
This is where nighttime wear of your retainer comes into play. By wearing your retainer(s) at least 3 nights per week, they’ll help prevent this unwanted tooth movement from happening. In fact, some orthodontists claim that retaining molars throughout adulthood allows for better overall oral health than leaving them unattached.
So, now that we know why most dentists recommend wearing your retainers, how long should you wear them for? Most experts say that the best length of time to retain your permanent teeth is indefinitely. After all, it takes almost 2 years for us to develop strong attachments to our permanent teeth. Once those connections form, it’s much more difficult to remove them. That said, it’s completely up to you on whether or not you feel comfortable wearing your retainer(s). Many people find that after a while, they no longer need their retainer. For others, they might experience discomfort after sleeping, have difficulty eating certain foods, or suffer from headaches.
If you decide to give up your retainer after 6 months, make sure you follow the same hygienic practices outlined above. Also, remember, no one knows your body better than you! Listen to your instincts and intuition regarding how well your retainer fits you. If you start to notice too much pain, swelling, loose teeth, increased sensitivity, or receding gums, then perhaps it’s time to take it off. There are pros and cons to either option, so always consult your dentist before removing your retainer.
For more information, please visit http://www.permanentteethretainers.com/. We hope you enjoy reading our blog articles, which cover topics ranging from first impressions to family issues. Please leave comments below if you’d like to ask questions or share your thoughts. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Happy blogging!

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