So, after the orthodontist cleared me for 12 (blissful!) hours of retainer-free wear a couple weeks ago, I initially felt some trepidation. I was worried that my teeth would shift during the day, as I hadn’t had the trays out for longer than a couple hours. Also, my teeth felt naked! For the first several days, I tried leaving them out longer and not brushing my teeth, but the instinct and habit was too strong.
Ok, I admit, I’m still trying to keep myself from brushing my teeth immediately after lunch.
Since 12 hours is not a full wakeful day, I kind of had to meter out my wearing. The orthodontist had suggested not wearing the trays at work, and then putting them back in when I got home.
That wasn’t really what I wanted, since being able to have dinner and/or dessert tray-less was more important to me than work-time-food.
I eventually settled on this (these are all approximate):
7:30a: Take out trays, drink coffee/tea/cocoa, eat oatmeal
8:30-9a: Brush teeth, put trays back in
12p: Take out trays, put away
9-10p: Brush teeth, put trays back in (depends on when I get ready for bed)
This ends up being 11-12 hours of “free” time. I like the re-traying in the middle of the morning, because it makes me feel less..guilty?
Anyways, after a couple of weeks of this now, the lower tray is significantly less sore at night when I put them back in. At first, it was like OW OW OW THOSE ARE TIGHT. Curiously, the upper teeth, who have been in retainment a full YEAR longer than the lowers are having more difficulty adjusting to this new regime, and the tray is consistently tight in the same spot every night.
My theory on this is that the left side eye teeth (cuspids, I think), the lower one pushes up and out on the upper one (these are the first teeth that meet when I close my jaw) and the tray pushes it back down.
Anyways, progress is being made, and it’s nice to be able to eat a brownie or whatever without hunting down the tray case.