Broken retainer after 12 years. Can my teeth start moving?

I wanted to know .. I wore braces at ages of 13 and now in mid 2os .. My retainer broke some time ago.. But feel like my teeth have move? Is that possible after so many years teeth moving?

Doctor Answers 1

Teeth Movement Years After Braces

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Just like changes that occur to the body over the years as we age, the teeth are no exception. Whether you have had orthodontic treatment or not, your teeth can shift and change in position if not retained.

Most people notice changes to their lower front teeth in the form of “crowding”. I recommend to my patients that they wear retainers indefinitely after orthodontic treatment. Immediately after orthodontic treatment I advise them to wear retainers every night while sleeping for
approximately 2 years. After the 2 year period of nightly wear, I suggest that they continue to wear their retainers at least a few nights a week.

I explain to them that they will be able to tell how often to wear the retainers based on how they feel when they are worn. For instance, if the retainers feel tight and the teeth feel sore after missing a few nights of retainer wear, the retainers should be worn more frequently since the teeth are trying to shift. However, in the same scenario, if the retainers are worn and they feel “passive” with no discomfort to the teeth, that may be an indication that they can be worn less frequent. I do not ever tell my patients to stop wearing retainers as there is always the possibility of the teeth shifting out of the desired position.

New York Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.