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It’s been a few years since I completed a course of orthodontics for bite correction, then underwent myofunctional therapy so as not to have to use my removable retainer for the rest of my life. Thus far it seems to be working as I haven’t noticed any inward-shifting of teeth at least, even if I haven’t achieved much palate expansion. The current issue is that my ortho put in a permanent retainer across my four lower teeth, which recently popped out – due to either general wear and tear (which happens) or maybe(?) the stress from my lower row expanding to keep pace with the upper.
I live across town from my ortho now (2+ hr drive) and although I’ve emailed the office for advice (with no reply) I’m not really inclined to go back in for various reasons. My new dentist could re-glue the old wire back in but he’d have to charge the same as for 2 fillings. So…I’m wondering if it’s necessary to have a permanent retainer at all at this point – ? It’s been a few weeks now and there may be some minor “springiness” going on with the teeth suddenly being free once more, but I don’t know what the long term effects might be. On the one hand they could shift out of alignment, or if my palate is expanding a new retainer could hamper this process. Has anyone out there had a permanent retainer removed, or decided not to replace on that fell out? What have the results been?
do open mouth chewing. im trying to ween off my retainer.. but front upper teeth come back a bit. i learned open mouth chewing prevents that.
@rockyp33 What about the lower teeth? I did follow up with a local ortho last week and as part of their routine eval they took x-rays. I had had my old records sent over in advance and the doctor was able to compare and see that my palate has expanded somewhat over the past few years (he didn’t say by how much). Otherwise he was impressed with how my teeth were aligned – he said they look like the photos of how they’re supposed to look once the work is done.
He didn’t recommend replacing the permanent retainer at this point as he was concerned that with the teeth having moved slightly the small spaces in between my teeth and the wire would trap food and cause cavities. He offered to fit me with a lower retainer to correct the movement, but this would halt and further expansion. Alternately he said I could continue to watch the lowers and see if they move any more before making a decision. I’m hoping they’ll self-correct as I continue to get expansion but we’ll see. I’m also going to get my dentist’s thoughts on the risk of cavities if the wire is replaced.