Mark, I have some questions regarding keeping teeth straight after orthodontic procedures and would be really grateful if you could answer them for my records!
1) When you straighten teeth and the process is complete, is it realistic to say that you can retain them for life using Essix and bonded retainers? Although I finished my treatment 7 years ago, I’ve noticed that although I wear my Essix retainer 3 x a week, my lower incisors get tender and keep spacing apart back and forth. This makes me really nervous knowing that despite my commitment to retention, my teeth can still move – I like them the way they are!
2) Does the quality of Essix and bonded retainers affect the teeths retention and if so, how can we be sure that we get quality retainers to keep the teeth straight?
3) As many of us live well into our 80’s and beyond, when we have orthodontic treatment when we are younger, can we really only have it done once for life? I don’t really want to repeat orthodontic treatment just because i’m going to get older but like your philosophy I believe a good smile throughout our life is worth investing in so I want to keep mine that way. Can we really keep the same results we get when we are in our 20’s in our 80’s too?
4) As I believe retention is a lifetime commitment, I want to keep my teeth straight as best I can but I know we can’t keep with the same orthodontists for life (as they retire) so are we still able to have retention appliances remade for us by other orthodontists elsewhere down the line of life? What should we do if our teeth do shift and we see a change and we don’t have an orthodontic practice anymore?
5) And finally, is there a way we can stop our teeth shifting apart from wearing our retainers religiously? I know our teeth shift with age but can we really defy the process?
I’m just thinking of the future as my teeth are top priority for me so your advise would be a gem! Thanks