Retainer - 10 years from last use - worth the pain?

Here I sit, a decade later, and I just found my retainer. I put it in, and it still fits, but could immediately feel the strain on my teeth.

My teeth still look straight, although they have shifted some and are not quite as perfect as they were when I got my braces removed.

But now that I’m older, and can more fully appreciate the small fortune my parents spent on my teeth, and feel like maybe I should start wearing my retainer again. I know it will HURT LIKE HELL, but will it get my teeth back to their post-braces perfection? Would it be worth the pain?

You would do better if you gave your orthodontist a call and asked, maybe even go in for a quick visit. There’s no knowing what is in your mouth at the moment.

I highly advise against it. Is it just for one set (top or bottom) teeth? Your jaw or your other set of teeth could have moved enough over the years that putting your one set of teeth into another alignment could seriously mess you up.

Top and bottom, both still fit, just really really tightly.

I still wouldn’t do it. Just sounds like a bad idea.

From what I understand, a retainer is made to make your teeth as they were when you started into what they are at the end. If your teeth have moved somewhat since you finished using the retainer, it is no longer shaped appropriately to move your teeth into their original “final” position.

If you really want to use it again, contact an orthodontist and ask if they can adjust it to fit you now, but I doubt it can be done without spending the money again on x-rays, molds and building a new retainer.