You have just finished wearing your removable retainers every night for a period of about 1 year.
The bone around your teeth will now have matured. There will still be a little tension in the gum fibres around your teeth. Your teeth will continue to move if you do not wear your retainers as advised.
If you are wearing your retainers every night, you should now reduce the wear to every other night. Your retainers will feel tight initially but this will ease until the retainers no longer feel tight. The research is clear - orthodontic advice is to wear your retainers for as long as you want to keep your teeth straight. Once you stop wearing retainers, no matter how long it is since the end of your treatment, there is a risk of tooth movement.
If you want your teeth to remain perfect, we advise that you continue to wear the retainers 2-3 nights per week indefinitely.
Teeth continue to move as you get older. This continues for the rest of your life and will occur irrespective of wisdom teeth, previous orthodontic treatment or extractions. This is a normal part of ageing. It can be very slight, or may cause a more noticeable change. The risk of movement is greatest from 15-20 years of age, but change can happen at any stage in life. No one can predict in any individual case how much the teeth will move but we know that teeth will always move if retainers are not worn to stop this.
Any tightness is an indication that there is some tooth movement occurring and should be a warning to wear your retainers more than you are at present. Simply increase your wear until there is no tightness and then drop back to alternate nights.
Once you stop wearing retainers, your teeth will move - this is called relapse. No one can predict how much or how quickly the teeth will move. Do not take advice from family or friends as frequently they are mistaken about the amount of time you need to wear your retainers.
You have agreed to undergo orthodontic treatment to achieve your perfect smile, and it is now your responsibility to maintain your result through dedicated retainer wear. If you have neglected to wear your retainers as advised we would not normally carry out re-treatment, especially if the relapse is mild and the appearance is good.
If you have had brace treatment on the NHS and wish to have a second course of brace treatment due to relapse, you will need to pay for this on a private basis.
If you lose your retainers, break them, or have difficulty wearing them, please contact the practice immediately for advice. If you fail to contact the practice your teeth may move. If you require a replacement retainer, or if you feel that you may require a second set of retainers (spares), these can be provided at an additional cost. Please enquire if you feel that you might need a second set.
If you have any problems with wearing your retainers, or if they do not seem to fit well, are lost or broken, please do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible on 01224 611633.
Your treatment is now complete, you have been discharged from our care and we will inform your dentist.