Did you know that 25% of braces wearers are adults? Adults who wear braces might be getting them for the first time. Others might have braces on for a second time because they failed to wear their retainers.
Failing to wear your retainer after having braces can result in your teeth drifting out of position. If you stopped wearing your retainer but want to get your teeth back into their former place, you might be wondering, “can I wear old retainers for teeth straightening?”
The answer to that question is multi-faceted. This guide will discuss whether or not you can wear your old retainer to straighten your teeth.
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What’s a Retainer?
Your retainer gets made when your teeth are in an ideal position. Their job is to make sure your teeth don’t shift back into their former spots.
When your metal braces are taken off, your teeth might want to move. The process of your teeth moving is gradual. You might not notice it right away, but you’ll see the difference over time.
Your retainer keeps your teeth in place, so they don’t move. Your orthodontist will tell you how long you should wear your braces during the day and night.
Can I Wear My Old Retainer?
If your old retainer isn’t damaged and still fits comfortably, you can still wear it. That means your teeth haven’t moved so far out of place that your retainer isn’t effective.
You might notice that your retainer feels a little tight for a couple of days. Your teeth will soon move to accommodate the tightness.
If your retainer doesn’t quickly go back into your mouth, your teeth have moved too far out of place. Your retainer likely won’t fit if it’s been more than 10 years since you’ve worn it. Don’t wear it if you have to force it back into your mouth.
What Are the Risks of Wearing an Old Retainer?
Trying to force an old retainer into your mouth can do damage. Some dangers of wearing an old retainer include:
- Damage to gum tissue
- Damage to teeth
- Sickness due to bacteria
- Stuck retainer
- Broken retainer
You need to speak to a dental professional about other ways to straighten your teeth after an orthodontic relapse.
Talk to Your Orthodontist About Your Options
Clear aligners, like Invisalign attachments, are a great way to straighten your teeth discreetly. You can get results in as little as 12 months with Invisalign.
One of the best parts about this treatment is you can remove the trays while eating or brushing your teeth. You don’t have to worry about watching what you eat like with metal braces.
Learn More About Wearing Old Retainers for Teeth Straightening
Wearing old retainers for teeth straightening can cause many problems, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve worn your retainer. Speaking with your orthodontist about your goals is the best course of action.
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