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Help me make a decision with my retainers please! Mewing with Permanent Retainer Drawbacks?

shanananana
New Member

Ok, so I'm currently 18 and nearing the end of my Invisalign treatment but I need help picking a retainer. I know that most retainers will prevent mewing results so as of now I'm leaning towards getting a permanent retainer bonded behind my front six teeth on both the top and bottom so that I can mew without relapse. My question is whether there are any drawbacks or side effects to mewing with permanent retainers. My canine use to be a pretty ugly snaggletooth which always bothered me and I really don't want relapse since I had to pay a TON to get it fixed. (By the way, My ortho warned me against permanent retainers for the top teeth, saying that the bottom teeth might not fit under or knock the wire out so this is all assuming that the permanent retainers would fit without issues in the first place, if not I have no idea what to do.)

Invisalign treatment has caused me TMJ issues which I never had before (I am currently working with my ortho to fix my new TMJ/bite issues). Because of the TMJ, I'm not sure I want Essix retainers because I read that Essix retainers will keep my bite in an unnatural position because of the plastic and possibly worsen or prevent my TMJ from going away. As for Hawley retainers, they will prevent proper tongue position because of the piece of plastic covering my palate.

P.S. I've attached a before/after pic of my teeth for reference.

Thank you to anyone who responds or took the time to read this!!

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Topic starter Posted : 24/07/2019 5:25 pm
shanananana
New Member

@darkindigo

Thank you for the response. 

Yes, I did mew with Invisalign, I was under the impression that mewing won’t affect anything other than to help you breathe a bit better if you have braces in. My jaw has also developed some asymmetries (possibly due to the TMJ or me not being able to bite down properly without Invisalign) and I heard that mewing combined with proper body and neck posture will correct asymmetries over time and possibly even heal TMJ. In fact, this is a video that proves both those points!! (I would recommend you watch the entire thing but if you can't, I'd recommend you start watching from 12:00, 14:08 is when the before and after pictures start, and 17:05 is when he mentions that the TMD issues are resolved.) I'm also not sure if I even want permanent retainers anymore after seeing how his teeth shifted in the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5S5AZ50pAE&t=812s

Anyways if the permanent retainers don’t work out. Would it be smart to stop retainer wear completely after 6 months or so when the teeth settle and just work excessively hard at mewing and body posture? Would that prevent complete or at the very least most of the relapse? My nose is always congested and I really want a chance to reach my genetic potential.

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Topic starter Posted : 25/07/2019 12:33 pm
Brightongirl
New Member

shannonstemmer

Hi, I'm wondering pretty much the same  thing you are, as I also had invisalign treatment and I decided to go with fixed retainers on the top and bottom teeth, a small wire from canine to canine. I had this fitted before I knew about mewing and good tongue posture. So far I've been mewing only a few weeks so I don't expect  to see any results yet. I'm 20, so my bones should still be fairly malleable but I don't expect to see any changes for a few months. I am worried that my retainer will prevent me from getting results though. I have never had and tooth extractions, my teeth are now straight and my wisom teeth have come through fine, so perhaps my palate will not expand much anyway. However, I have a receding lower jaw and closing my lips isn't that easy because of this. I hope to correct this by moving my maxilla and  lower jaw forward with persistent mewing, I just hope my retainer will not prevent bone growth. I'm not sure if this was at all helpful but it would be great to hear how you're getting on and what you decided about the retainer.

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Posted : 03/09/2019 5:13 pm
HappyPanda27
Active Member

@shanananana I had the same exact question actually. I am thinking of getting bonded/fixed retainers behind just my front 4 and bottom teeth soon, to prevent possible relapse but also get the most results out of mewing in terms of widening the palate, but I hear that even a fixed retainer can prevent mewing results also? I'm just having a hard time making a decision on this as I don't know if there are any clear ways of knowing whether relapse will happen with not having any form of retention at all even if you do mew constantly 24/7 and rely on mewing alone to prevent relapse. I hear some saying that their teeth did not crowd again after just mewing and not wearing a retainer, but I just don't know what's the right move here after talking to multiple orthodontists in person, forums, Reddit, I just need to know this answer from someone who can explain it thoroughly and give valid reasoning and not just maybes. Just a definitive answer on something this important would be nice.

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Posted : 12/10/2019 11:12 pm
LizzyBennet
Active Member

I went through the same agonising decision making process several months ago. If I keep my fixed and removable retainers teeth/palate won't change; if I don't use the retainers then teeth might get crowded again. The indecision stems from the fact that there is no guarantee that mewing will have positive effects in the direction we desire. In the end, I decided to keep the retainers since that way, at least my teeth won't get worse. Won't get better either, but at least the current state is guaranteed.

Just recently (as explained in my story 'Undoing Orthodontic Work' this decision was thrown out by the fact that the fixed retainer on my bottom front six teeth spontaneously broke and the two teeth that was no longer held together by the wire turned crooked within two days. Or perhaps the teeth were moving anyway despite the fixed retainer, and this movement was what, in fact, broke the wire, not the other way round. I don't know. Actually, thinking about it now, I think it is more likely that the teeth moved first, and the pressure the movement placed on the wire retainer broke the retainer.

In any case, since it has been proven that even using two sets of retainers (I had the fixed retainer for the 6 bottom teeth and an Essix retainer top and bottom that I use only at night) doesn't guarantee that the teeth will stay straight, I now think that I will leave the broken fixed retainer alone, stop using the Essix retainer, and start mewing.

I am not advising you to go either way. You have to make the decision yourself, depending on how unhappy you are with the current state and whether you think it is worth taking the risk of potentially ending up with a worse result because mewing didn't work for you and your teeth moved in undesirable ways due to not wearing the retainer. 

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Posted : 28/10/2019 2:08 am
LizzyBennet
Active Member

Oh, and, when I briefly stopped wearing my Essix retainer in order to mew (but still with the bottom fixed retainer), my teeth did move. The details are in 'Undoing Orthodontic Work). The reason I stopped and started using the Essix retainer again was that I couldn't be sure that the move was positive (widening the arch) or the opposite.

So, in answer to your question, if you only have fixed retainers but no Essix, you may be able to see results from mewing as there is nothing stopping the back teeth that are not bound by the fixed retainers from moving. The caveat, as I said above, is that they may move INWARD, rather that outward, which obviously is undesirable.

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Posted : 28/10/2019 2:17 am