Should I Wear My Retainer Only at Night?

I was 15 when I first got my retainer and I wore it all the time for almost a month before I gave up on it. I was told to wear it all the time for a year and then I could wear it only at night as my teeth aren't that misplaced to begin with. I'm 19 now and I want to try wearing it only at night. I do not wish to wear it all the time so I'm wondering if the results still be the same if I only wear it at night?

Doctor Answers 4

Night Wear Only For Retainer

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The odds are that your current retainer will not fit after four years.  I would see your orthodontist and have him/her evaluate it.  Assuming that it no longer fits, you can have impressions taken for a new one.  Perhaps a clear retainer could be made so that you could wear it longer than just at night initially. Good luck. 


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Hi wore your retainer for one month only before you bailed! Fast forward to four years later and at 19 you want to start wearing the same retainer again. Believe me, your teeth have moved in the last four years.  You should see a dentist for a new retainer.  If you had been compliant and wore the retainer as your dentist suggested, your old retainer might work. Please see a dentist and have a new retainer made for you!

George Koutsoukos, DDS
Valencia Dentist

Should I wear my retainer only at night?

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You say that you only wore you retainer for a month before giving up on it.  In my opinion there is no way the retainer is going to fit still.  You need to see a dentist to fabricate a new retainer that probably can be worn only at night.  I would assume thought that your teeth had shifted at this point. 

Leonard Tau, DMD
Philadelphia Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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Wear Your Retainer Only at Night

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If you have been wearing this same retainer for 4 years now, you should definitely visit your dentist/orthodontist to check on its fit. Your jaw has probably grown or changed over the years. The short answer, however, is that if you have been wearing it 24 hours/day with no problem, then you definitely can wear it only at night at this point.

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

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.