Ask an Orthodontist: Should I wear my retainer?

Orthodontics is the dental specialty and practice of preventing and correcting irregularities of the teeth. Think braces and retainers. One of the most common questions we get is: “Do I really have to wear my retainer?”. Answer below!

Dr. Sergio Ferreira is a Smile Generation®-trusted orthodontist at River Lakes Dental Group and Orthodontics. Dr. Ferreira has been practicing orthodontics since 1997. His jovial personality helps him form lasting relationships and puts his patients at ease. You get a sense of his pleasant disposition in his answers to these questions!

Question From Alicia J.:

“I had braces for 2 years when I was about 11, 12 or 13 (don’t remember exactly). I wore my removable retainer (top teeth) nightly until about freshman year of college and stopped. I have since put in my old retainer a few times and it is tighter. Would it hurt to start wearing it at night again to make my teeth line up together like they used to? ( I am now 25, so I haven’t worn it for about 6 years) THANKS!”

Answer:

Hello Alicia,

The biggest mistake orthodontic patients can make after treatment is not wearing their retainer. A lot of patients need braces again because they did not wear their retainer properly. It looks like you did follow the instructions, but discontinued use.

Regarding your question about whether you should start wearing your retainer again:

  • It all depends on how your teeth look. If they look good, and if you do not present any crowding or spacing, and if your wisdom teeth are erupted or extracted, you do not need to go back to the retainer.
  • Wisdom teeth may be responsible for shifting of teeth. It is normal for your retainer to feel tight after 6 years because teeth always shift a bit. If you see spacing or crowding, you should consider wearing the retainer at night again.
  • If the retainer feels very tight, it means that your teeth are moving or have moved a lot. If it feels a bit tight, this is normal after 6 years. Retainers are like “money in the bank”. More is better. If you start to wear it again, your teeth will feel tight for a few days until you get used to it again.

I always tell my patients: wearing retainers to sleep does not bring any inconvenience to you. They are the “pajamas for your teeth”. I am much older than you and I still wear mine! I had treatment as an adult and I understand how inconvenient it can be to maintain a consistent schedule.

Question From Katee A.:

“What is Phase 1 orthodontic treatment and why do most dentists think it’s so important?”

Answer:

Hello Katee,

This is a very important question!

Phase I treatment in orthodontics is an early treatment performed when the child is in mixed dentition (some baby teeth, some adult teeth; from 6 to 9 years of age). It is very important to realize that the patient may still require phase II orthodontic treatment.

Parents should always ask the doctor what they believe the outcome of phase I will be. I have seen unfortunate cases where patients had minimal bracketing and nothing was accomplished. I do perform phase I, but only when I believe it will greatly benefit the patient’s future smile. In some cases, I recommend patients wait until they are older before being placed in braces.

Here are some cases when Phase I is recommended:

  • Posterior or anterior crossbites: basically, a crossbite is when one or all of the upper teeth are inside the lower teeth when you bite. It is much more difficult to treat when one is an adult. Sometimes, only surgery is the only option to correct this.
  • Extreme flaring of upper incisors: this is when the upper front teeth jut out forward
  • Severe crowding: expansion of the arches or serial extraction of deciduous teeth may be performed in an early age to open spaces for erupting teeth.

Depending on the age, I usually combine both phases of treatment and perform full treatment for about 3 years; it is more cost-effective that way. A detailed treatment plan should always be reviewed before entering into any orthodontic treatment.

Thanks for these great questions on braces and retainers! If you’re considering getting braces for yourself or a family member, visit The Smile Generation braces resource.

Mouth Guard

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93 Responses to “Ask an Orthodontist: Should I wear my retainer?”

  1. I have had braces for three years and I got them off recently. It’s been 3 months now and I haven’t worn my retainers since then. Now I feel like my teeth have moved a little forward. Luckily my retainers still fit pretty fine. So will it help pushing my teeth back?. Thankyou.

  2. I had a retainer break and I have a sort of Invisalign looking retainer on the top and a nighttime retainer on the bottom. I have discovered in the use of the plastic retainer on top that I grind my teeth in my sleep. The entirety my plastic retainer has teeth marks all over it and one side actually has a hole I don’t know what to do about it. There isn’t an orthodontist anywhere near me and the orthodontist that I had been going to in the past sold his practice. I’ve been wearing my retainer every 3-4 days to get use out of it but since I wear my retainer at night it does no good. Should I replace the top plastic one and get a plastic for the bottom too?

  3. I was born with out a tooth went through braces got them off wore retainer for 5 months then stopped the spaces started to close so I started to wear my retainer again, but it is very tight. The fake tooth does not fit in the spot because it closed to much. Will the space open up over time if I wear my retainer?

  4. Hello. I had my braces taken out about 6 months ago. I was given retainers to wear at night but I stopped using them about a month later after just forgetting about it. I have put them back in now and I’ve noticed that although the lower teeth don’t hurt, the top ones do. It’s slightly painful and I became quite paranoid about it. Is it safe to wear them?

    The top teeth don’t look like they have moved but they definitely hurt.

    The bottom teeth look like they’ve moved ever so slightly but they don’t hurt at all.

    Thankyou.

    • Hi Rory,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendation can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation to determine the best course of action.

  5. so for the past 3-4 years since my braces were taken off, I’ve worn my retainers on and off. By on and off, I mean I would usually wear them every other night, every night, or not wear it for a week or two. I’ve never gone over two weeks without wearing my retainers. right now, my main question is, are my retainers working right? are my teeth in the correct position that was intended? i tried wearing it for a while today and it doesn’t really hurt much at all which means my teeth aren’t too far away from what my retainers want it to be at, but it is just slightly tight. my teeth right now… no spaces in between the teeth in each row, however, if i close my teeth to form a smile, you can see slight spaces/cracks. also, when i look at pictures of what it should look like, it seems like the top row should be in front of the bottom when you bite down. for me, its only slightly in front of/barely at all, when i bite down, its like they’re almost exactly on top of each other (front teeth wise) but all the teeth do touch

    • Hi Joey,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendation can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation to determine the best course of action.

  6. My orthodontist told me to wear my retain just at nights. He told me if it’s loose wear it less and if it’s tight wear it more. I’ve had it for almost a year now and he told me this last month.
    I woke up with a sore tooth and to my retainer out. I noticed that the too that is sore is slightly wobbly. Any idea why? Hope you can help.

    • By the way it is the top tooth second to the left from middle left

    • Hi Chloe,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendation can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation to determine the best course of action.

  7. hi! I was able to wear a new retainer despite I’m having a split teeth in front. When I have worn it, it has pain,, not too much pain, but there is. I was able to ask the dentist if it is normal, then she said yes, because it’ll adjust the teeth. Could this be true? I started up wearing it 3 days from now. thanks.

    • Hi Geon,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendation can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation to determine the best course of action.

  8. Hi, I literally just got my braces off and I was wondering if it is normal for my teeth to hurt after getting the retainer.. it mainly hurts on the top left side. It’s only been 8 hrs since I got them. i took my retainer off for 20 mins and put it back on and the pain was still there.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Ginny,

      We are unable to provide a recommendation on your question without seeing you. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation to determine the best course of action.

  9. Hello
    I have a quick question I’m almost done with treatment with my my braces I notices but never asked the doctor why but when I smile I feel my bottom teeth touch the Back top teeth? Is that normal? Or I feel that now due to my bite being correct?
    Thank you

    • Hi Danilla,

      We are unable to provide a recommendation on your question without seeing you. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation to determine if there are any issues with your bite.

  10. I’ve been wearing my retainers for 6 months straight full time never taking them off unless eating but I’ve recently lost them and I was wondering how long it would take for them to shift back! My ortho is unavailable on the weekend so I have to wait 3 days to call them and I’m afraid my teeth might even shift this weekend help!

    • Hello Lily,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

  11. Hi, I wore braces for over 4 years and got it off in February this year and was given a retainer. 3 months down the lane my retainer no longer fit. what can I do? does it mean the teeth have moved a lot?

    • Hello Aishat,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

  12. Is it safe to use retainer even i havent yet tried braces ? Doesnt my retainer will cause tooth decay ? Or some other irregularity ?

    • Hello Kristian,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

  13. Hi, i have a retainer that i have been wearing for almost a year but couple of months ago i was experiencing pain from the gums or teeth(wasnt sure) so i decided to stop wearing it for a while and the pain wasnt there anymore after couple of days. Now i tried to put on my retainers again but it wouldnt fit anymore its too tight wouldnt sit it wouldnt sit in perfectly, is there any way to adjust this for them to fit again or do i have to get a new retainer? Can a dentist fix this for me or should i go to an orthodontist?
    Thank you

    • Hello Xavier,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

  14. Hi, um i was wondering at night will my retainer come out when i sleep?

    • Hello Kristina,

      If properly fitted by your dentist, this should not be an issue. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation to answer your questions and alleviate any concerns.

  15. I just got my braces off about 2 weeks ago and I am supposed to wear my retainer (the wire and plastic one) 24/7. This last week I only wore it at night and I noticed one tooth at my bottom teeth has shifter a little bit. I plan on wearing my retainers 24/7 now, but if I keep wearing my retainer will that tooth eventually go back to place since it is only slightly shifted?

    • Hello Lauren,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

  16. Hello, Im 15 years old wear my plastic retina every night. I had braces when i was 13 for 13 months and now my retainers are starting to wear through on my back teeth (cracks and a hole near the back) and it often feels tight. My question is do I need to approach my orthodontist about getting a replacement or would it be able to stop wearing them or cut it down. Thank you.

    • Hello Hannah,

      You should definitely be evaluated as soon as possible. Only then can any recommendations can be made. We highly advise you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

  17. I had braces and I had gotten a clear plastic retainer I had stopped wearing it for a while so one of my front teeth moved forward a small bit I now have a metal retainer and my front tooth feels loose should I be worried?

    • Hello,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

  18. I used Invisalign whigh straighten the spaces in my teeth. My dentist fit a permanent retainer on my top teeth but it was placed on the very top of the back part of my teeth. It’s so high that I can floss my teeth without touching it
    My teeth are coming apart when I’m not wearing my vivera retainers
    I feel that they need to be moved lower on my teeth to prevent them from coming apart….your thoughts? I appreciate your opinion.

    • Hello Michael,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

  19. hello, EMERGENCY QUESTION!!!

    I have just lost my retainers! I have a back up bottom one that is split, and i am wearing, but the back up top one is ill fitting, which is why it was replaced. My question is is it better for me to wear no retainer at all for the upper until i get back from my trip in two weeks, or to wear none at all? stressed!

    • oh i put this under the wrong post… should i wear no retainer at all for two weeks until my replacement gets in, or should i wear the slightly illfitted one?

      • Hello Rose,

        You should be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

  20. Hey, I am really nervous because I haven’t worn my retainer for a few days and I just noticed I didn’t bring it with me on vacation. So I’m not going to be wearing my retainer for about a week and a half. Will my retainer still fit? Are there any things I can do so my teeth don’t shift to much?

    • Hello Nick,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

  21. I have retainers and I would wear them and forget to for couple of days but they would always fit fine when I put them in. But now when I try to put them in they hurt really badly and two of my top molars mover in so my retainers won’t even touch the top of my mouth but it fits my front teeth and all of my molars are becoming loose and my wisdom teeth are growing in and my mouth is really soure because of this And I don’t know what to do.

    • Hello,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

    • imean should i wear the ill fitting retainer for 2 weeks, or none at all till my replacement gets in!

  22. Hey I had braces for under 2years. I stopped wearing my retainer for probably over two years because it was lost. I now found it and tried popping it back in and I really had to push to get in on my bottom teeth and it still doesn’t fit all the way. My teeth must of shifted. Should I continue to try and wear my retainers even if they don’t fit properly anymore or should I just not even try?
    Thanks so much.

    • Hi Tyleah,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

    • Hi Tyleah im in the exact same situation, I’m just wondering have you seen your orthodontist yet and if so what did he say? If your retainer fits on but its a bit tight should it be ok if you wear it non stop for a while?

  23. I’ve been wearing my retainers all day. Well at least I try to. I dont know what to do because I take them off while im sleeping. (Like sleepwalking) It’s because they still hurt or just give me a headache.I get so cranky when I wear them. I feel like it’ll never stop bothering me.

  24. hi i had my braces off two days ago now and now have retainers is it ok to only wear them at night or full time day +night

    • Hi Harry,

      You should follow your dentist’s recommendation for how often to wear your retainer. Ideally, the more you wear it the better!

  25. I need help because I have been wearing my ritaner for 4 months now
    And it is only now that one of my teeth has come out and I don’t know
    Weather I should continue to wear my brace
    Or stop and wait till the tooth has grown back? ….

    • Hi Jasmine,

      You should be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

  26. My teeth have been perfect, but I was eating chewy candy so my teeth felt weak. My mom freaked out and took me to my dentist, who referred me back to my old orthodontist. My old orthodontist was angry and was yelling at me and my mom for switching dentists, and was in a fit of rage. He took my retainers and tightened them, and I have gone one night and day without retainers, since it was tight. Today I went back to loosen the retainer, and he yelled at me even more, and says that it’s supposed to be tight and argues that I am not a dentist, so I have no say in how tight it should be, and it’s not my area of profession, continuing to ridicule me and my mom. I feel like he is trying to make my teeth weaker, by pushing my teeth together harder, even though they were/are already perfectly straight. (my old retainer’s shape was just fine, i think he did it out of anger). My question is, is it normal to have it tightened? He is ridiculing my new dentist and trying to say he is superior, but at the same time he is treating me as if I am not his patient anymore. I’m not sure if he is helping or hurting. I am planning to schedule an appointment with another dentist in a week from now, and I am not planning to wear the now-tight retainers. Will it be okay to not wear it, or should I endure the pain and wear it?
    please reply asap, I worry too much.
    thank you so much!

    • Hi Julie,

      We wish we could help, but unfortunately you need to be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation and second opinion whenever possible.

  27. I had my braces on for 19 months. After debonding it took a week to get my essex retainer so my teeth spaced out just a little within that time. I have worn my essex retainer 24 hours a day since than now a year later and only take them out to eat and brush my teeth. Reciently I have noticed a gap forming between my 2 front top teeth but sadly I can not make an appointment because I no longer have insurance and can not afford a bill or braces again to fix it. What do you recommend I do?

    • Hi Kayla,

      We understand your dilemma, but unfortunately you would need to be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation when possible.

  28. My daughter has lost her retainer cannot afford 65 pound for a new one she has had her brace 4 months now so we have no option but to have the brace removed what will happen to her teeth as we are worried

    • Hello,

      Your daughter would need to be evaluated before any recommendations can be made. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation as soon as possible.

  29. I Wear my retainer every night. I forgot last night. It’s been 3 months since I got debonded . . . Since I forgot last night, should I wear out today during day?

  30. I’m really scared and worried because I haven’t wore my retainer for 5 days (I’m 12) and it doesn’t fit right, it usually fixes over night but I’m kinda scared

    • Hi Mia,

      You should be evaluated in order to determine whether you should continue to wear your retainer and whether it needs to be refitted. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation.

  31. I have some loose teeth, I went to the dentist for a check up and they said it was fine but I forgot to ask I should continue wearing my retainers while it’s healing. Should I continue wearing the retainers or wait for my teeth to tighten up a bit?

    • Hi Jeffrey,

      You should be evaluated in order to determine whether you should continue to wear your retainer and whether it needs to be refitted. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation.

  32. I got my wisdom teeth removed yesterday and I have a retainer when would it be ok for me to put my retainer back in? I have the clear one that covers your teeth

  33. Hi! So I got my braces off like in the end of June or July, and I wore my retainers for about a month (the kind that sits on the roof of your mouth with the metal hooky thingy in the front). I stopped wearing them for about 3-4 weeks and only remember I had them today. When I put them on I noticed on the right side of the top retainer, the metal hooky thingy wasn’t actually touching the area between two of the teeth like they did before. My question is, is it not supposed to really touch the teeth or is it normal? (And I know when you wear retainers they position your teeth to the way they normally were. I think). Also, when I put them in, I always have to press it in every 15 minutes because they keep clicking back in when I touch them. Maybe I shouldn’t touch them?

    • Hi Helen,

      You need to be evaluated in order to determine whether your current retainer is properly fitted. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation.

  34. I just got my braces off yesterday. I was wondering if it’s normal for your teeth to hurt from the retainer. My orthodontist told me it fit and everything before I left… Will it just take time for me to get used to the new retainer?

    • Hi Casey,

      Per Smile Generation®-trusted Dr. Ferreira: “It is normal for your retainer to feel tight…”. Give it some time for you to get used to it. If the problem persists, we recommend you see your dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation.

  35. I got hit b in the mouth about 2 days ago so my front tooth is loose. I want.to kno what i can do to keep my tooth. And i have a retainer from about 5 years ago should i wear it to help my tooth tighten up

    • Hello Montasia,

      You should be evaluated in order to determine the best course of action for your loose tooth. We recommend you see a dentist for an evaluation.

  36. The last time I wore my retainer was in 2007 so like 7 years ago, and since then I started to notice one of my bottom teeth continuing to move out forward, it’s been bothering me and hurting a little I guess because it’s being pushed outward, so today I decided to start wearing my retainer again but it’s tight and a little painful, will my retainer help shift my tooth back in to place?

    • Hi Jazmine,

      You need to be evaluated in order to determine whether your current retainer is safe to wear. We recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation.

  37. I had my braces tooken off 4yrs ago and just wore my retainers a couple of times and now i have an over bite and i want to start using them again but one of my front tooth is a Tooth replacement and I’m scared it might fall off since I have the clear retainers and I’m also wondering if my overbite will go away if I start using the retainers again

    • Thank you for reaching out. You need to be evaluated in order to determine whether your current retainer is safe to wear. I would recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist as soon as possible for an evaluation.

  38. Can I put my retainers in the day I got my wisdom teeth removed? I got four removed but when I put the retainer in, it doesn’t go to the infected area, should I still wait to put it in? (I don’t want my teeth shifting..)

    • Hello Eudora. You need to be evaluated in order to determine whether your current retainer is safe to wear. I would recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist as soon as possible for an evaluation.

  39. Hi, im 15 and i got by braces of two days ago, yaaay!!! And everything was going great that day, course the retainers hurt a little but the longer they were in the less sore it was. Then it was time that I went to bed so I washed my retainer with water (my dentist said no toothpaste or it will go cloudy) then I put it in and went to sleep, I went to sleep very quickly and don’t remember doing much.
    When I woke up though, there was a slight problem. The retainers had come out and one was on my bed the other somewhere in the floor, this happened again last night.
    My mum is saying that I am taking them out but I don’t remember doing that, I didn’t do anything that would make me forget what happened the night before so I don’t understand what’s up.
    Am I taking them out in my sleep, just before my sleep(which I don’t think so cause when I’m tired, I get a wee bit lazy) or is it possible that they are coming out.
    Last night one was under my bed and I don’t know how it got there.
    Are they Likely to break if this continues, how do I stop it, is it normal, how is it happening????

    Additional information: when my orthodontist made it there was a slight delay as they had made a mistake and where trying to fix it and I’m really worried that they break I really like my new straight teeth and I don’t want to change that.

  40. Hi,

    I have recently had a top molar tooth extracted. When I go to where my top retainer now it doesn’t fit properly? Is it that big of a deal or should I not even worry about it? Notes: I’ve had my braces off since 7th grade and now I’m 23.

    • It is possible that your extracted molar has affected your retainer from fitting normally. You need to be evaluated in order to determine whether your current retainer is safe to wear. I would recommend you see a dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation.

  41. Hi
    I’m Blair and I recently had an accident where my teeth front and bottom were knocked loose to the point were I couldn’t eat solid foods and
    I had braces for around 3 years and switched to that Invisilin thing and now I’m on metal retainers and long story short what do I doy teeth are to loose and sore to put my retainers in ? It’s the metal retainers if that helps.

    • It is possible that your front teeth have shifted due to the impact of the injury and that may have affected your retainer from fitting normally. You need to be evaluated in order to properly manage the injury as this could have affected your teeth and/or jaw bones. I would recommend you to see a dentist or orthodontist as soon as possible for an evaluation and treatment as needed.

  42. I got my braces off about 4 years ago and followed all of my orthodontist’s instructions on wearing retainers. My last instruction (probably from a year ago) was to wear it every now and then at night to keep the teeth from shifting, which I do once or twice a week, but it feels a bit tight when I first put them in. I also just had my wisdom teeth out, so I didn’t wear them for nearly two weeks and when I just put them in they hurt and hardly “click” in all the way. I’m also concerned the wire portion over the teeth got bent. Is it normal for the retainers to not fit after the surgery or should I be concerned that my teeth have shifted? (If they have shifted, should I still try to mash the retainer in or…?)

  43. I got my braces off about a year ago, and had to wear a retainer (clear plastic on top teeth) and I wore every night like he said, and then I just stopped. I don’t remember why, but today I tried to put it back in and it hurt really bad! My top middle teeth shifted a bit, and a tooth the. Grew in in side of a tooth that I recently lost is sticking out a bit. Is it bad to just try to push the retainer in and suck it up? I have been wearing it off and on because I’m not supposed to eat with it in.

    • Thank you for your question. We will send it to one of our Smile Generation-trusted orthodontists. In the meantime, if you need to see an orthodontist, please search one up on smilegeneration.com and make an appointment.

  44. I had my braces removed and wore my retainer for a while but then it kept slipping myind to put it in and now I can’t even put it on or my teeth hurt like crazy and the retainer won’t stay on.So I gave up on the retainer.but now lately after months of not wearing it,my gums and teeth have been hurting and throbbing constantly and I’m wondering if me not have worn my retainer be why.

  45. I only had my had my braces on for a year and a half because of the speed my teeth move. I’ve had my braces off for a year now and wear my retainer everyday but if I take my retainer of for 5 to 10 minutes my retainer gets tight and I can feel my teth shift is that suppose to happen? Was I suppose to have my braces longer they initially said 3 years.

  46. After about 2 weeks my daughter doesn’t seem to mind it much at all. Originally it bothered her when she was reading at school but now that she has adjusted to the feeling she is doing just fine. I think it was more about her feeling self conscious but so far so good.

  47. Waiting on Kristina’s question to be answered, cause I have the same question.

  48. I just got my braces removed and now wearing plastic retainers. I just wanted to know if it was okay to wear my retainer during sports such as volleyball?

  49. I have a question. I am 28 and had my braces removed at 17. I wore my retainer (which is the clear plastic kind no wires) for about a year after. Ive had my wisdom teeth removed and recently found my old retainers. I put them both on and at first they wouldnt even stay on but after 20 mins they would. It hurt a little and I want to wear them again at night. But my question is… is it wise? Since its been 10 years Im wondering if I could loosen my teeth by making them move back in place so quickly. I read about the possibility of them ripping from the gums? What is best for me to do?

    • Thanks for your question Kristina. We will ask one of our orthodontists on your behalf.

      • My question is similar to Kristina’s. I found my retainer (the wire and plastic kind) after some 6 years of not wearing it and was also wondering if I could start to wear it again. I have noticed that one side of my top teeth seem to sit slightly lower/at a different angle than before. My wisdom teeth have grown out about halfway so my teeth are pretty snug. I’m able to put on my retainer but it sits lower on my teeth than it did before and the wire is crooked in front (probably due to shifting of teeth). The retainer sits tightly but it stays in place. My main question is: Could I be doing damage to my teeth or loosening them since the wire in my retainer sits lower on my teeth rather than on the center of my teeth as before?
        Thank you…

  50. Well!! i just used it for six months..and even nightly..All is well. I’d like to suggest it not as a burden, you can just use it overnight