Book Request Appointment Like Us Like us on Facebook Reviews Read Our Reviews Call Give us a Call Map View our Map
Request an Appointment

So, Can You Use an Old Retainer To Re-Straighten Your Teeth?

January 25, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — orthoholliston @ 6:58 pm
Closeup of woman in white shirt wondering

Despite popular belief, braces are only designed to guide your teeth into their perfectly aligned positions, not keep them there. That’s why patients are given a retainer following their treatment. But what if you weren’t as diligent about wearing it as you should’ve been? Can an old retainer re-straighten your teeth again? Here’s the answer.

So, Can Old Retainers Re-Straighten Your Teeth?

Sadly, retainers cannot re-straighten your teeth. Unlike braces, they are not designed to apply gentle pressure, improving your alignment and bite. Instead, they are meant to help prevent orthodontic relapse, which is when your teeth begin to shift back into their previous positions. With all that said, if the movement is minor and your old retainer still fits, then you can continue to wear it to preserve your beautiful smile. If it no longer fits, however, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to discuss your options.

How Can Orthodontic Relapse Be Treated?

In most cases, the best way to treat orthodontic relapse is to get braces again. Fortunately, your treatment timeline will likely be significantly shorter, especially if the misalignment you’re looking to address is relatively minor. Plus, many patients are happy to learn that they don’t have to get metal braces again. Instead, discreet alternatives, like Invisalign, can restore your perfectly straight teeth, making achieving your smile goals more convenient than ever before.

5 Tips for Maintaining Your Retainer

Whether your retainer still fits or you end up getting a new one from your orthodontist, it’s of the utmost importance that you care for it properly. After all, wearing it should be a life-long practice, and you want to keep it in pristine condition for as long as possible. With this in mind, make sure to:

  • Brush your retainer after each meal with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste.
  • Use cold, not hot, water to rinse your retainers after each use.
  • Don’t eat with your retainer in.
  • Keep your retainer in its storage case when not in use.
  • Get it repaired or replaced if it chips, cracks, or breaks.

Orthodontic relapse can be frustrating. However, the last thing you want to do is make the situation worse by trying to make your old retainer be the solution. Instead, get in touch with your orthodontist. From there, they can take a look at your teeth, discuss your treatment options, and create a custom plan just for you!

About the Practice

With Dr. Alan Carlotto and Dr. Sam Alkhoury leading our team at Simply Orthodontics, patients can place their smiles in the hands of highly-trained, experienced, and passionate professionals. If you’ve experienced orthodontic relapse, we can help you with re-treatment or a replacement retainer, whichever is best for your dental needs and smile goals. If you want to learn more about re-straightening your teeth or are ready to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to visit our website or call (508) 429-7800.