Are You Still Wearing Your Retainer? This Is Why You Should

open bite

After having an open bite before braces, every night when I put my retainer in, it feels tight. What am I doing wrong?

I am glad you are diligently wearing your retainer at night. This is important to keep the teeth from moving back to where they were before. If you just had your braces off, your teeth may have more of a tendency to try to move back because your bone is still in breakdown-buildup mode. You may just need to wear the retainer for more time during the day for several weeks and then wean yourself to wearing it only at night.

If you had braces removed a long time ago, you may want to try to wear the retainer for more time daily. Over a period of a few weeks you can wean yourself to wear only nightly again to see if this helps.
If this does not help, I would recommend oral myofunctional therapy (OMT). Having an open bite in the front teeth means that your tongue and lips were not coordinated before braces, creating the open space. OMT helps retrain the muscles so that the tongue no longer pushes on the teeth and the lips help hold the teeth inward.

OMT will encourage long-term health of the muscles and encourage the teeth to naturally stay in the space the orthodontist or dentist put them. This will prevent the costly need to re-correct the alignment in the future.

About the author

Stacey Sparkman Hall, D.D.S.

Dr. Stacey Hall brings her unique outlook on dental care and her personable optimism to the Williamsburg Center for Dental Health. With nine years of solid dental expertise as a dentist in Williamsburg, she decided in early 2011 to branch out and open her own local practice. After completing her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in 1998, Dr. Hall graduated from VCU’s MCV School of Dentistry in 2002, receiving her D.D.S. She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and was awarded member fellowship to the International Congress of Oral Implantology in 2008. She leads the elite Tidewater Dawson Study Club and is a scholar with the interntaionally renowned Dawson Academy. As a Dawson ambassador, Dr. Hall also assists in the training of students in the Dawson Academy. Stacey and her husband Michael have been blessed with three beautiful girls, Lanie, Gracie and Abbie. She is a loyal Virginia Tech Football fan, and enjoys Bible study and missions work.

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