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Braces

Retainers made wrong?

11/22/2005

Question:

About 2 years ago I got my braces off and started wearing retainers. I wore them almost all day and most nights. I noticed that the front of my bottom retainers didn`t touch my teeth like my top retainer, there was a slight gap. There was only a metal bar running across without the clear plastic. Within a few months I saw some movement in my lower teeth although I was wearing them but disregarded it a little bit. A few months later I stopped going to the ortho (it was a university) for about a year and about the same time I started to wear the retainers less often. About a year later I went back but my teeth lower teeth now started to stick out so that it pushed against the top teeth (my molars wouldn`t touch when I bit in the morning because of this). And it kept moving the top teeth out, but the retainer pulled it back in. So it was an almost painful endless cycle everytime I wore it (almost everynight). After I went back I started to wear my retainers more often, while the bottom it couldn`t quite fit. But then I lost the bottom retainer. And got a new one (using a new impression) with the clear plastic part that covered and touched my bottom teeth. Now my current dentist suggests me to get retreated to retract the bottom teeth. But I pondered about what has happened in the past few years to set me up in my current situation. I didn`t really say anything at first because they are the dentist and know what they are doing. But as for the bottom retainer, is the front part of the retainer suppose to touch the teeth to hold them in? And what if they don`t touch your teeth? Could they have made a mistake? As for proving that the retainers were maybe made wrong to get retreated/find another option for free I don`t think I can anymore. My budget is very tight. Any suggestions?

Answer:

It is not uncommon to have some movement of teeth following orthodontic treatment. Since teeth are not set in stone and our faces change throughout life, it is possible for the muscles and bone around the teeth to change enough to affect the teeth.

It seems to me that you should return to the orthodontist or clinic where you were treated for an evaluation. What concerns me is that you say it affects the upper teeth as well. It may be that you will need a short stage of re-treatment followed by retainers. It seems you were faithful in wearing your retainers, so there must be something else going on.

I hope this helps.

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Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University