If it’s been a while since the braces have come off and you’re thinking it might be nice to get some space from your retainer, you’re not alone. It’s extremely common for kids and adults alike to enjoy the newfound freedom away from having to have a metal setup in their mouth after a lengthy stint with braces and several months worth of diligent retainer wearing.

After a number of months or years wearing your retainer you are probably ready to have some space. But is it okay to stop wearing your retainer? And if you choose to stop, what is your plan for how to deal with any possible shifting teeth?

Will My Retainer Restraighten My Teeth?

In a short answer to this question – no. A retainer will not help teeth return to their straight positions, particularly if a considerable period of time has passed since your braces were taken off and you forewent wearing your retainer altogether. While it would be a huge perk to be able to toss your retainer in when you sensed your teeth shifting, it just isn’t that simple.

A retainer is used to keep teeth in place after braces have done the long, hard work of gradually shifting your teeth into their ideal positions. A retainer is simply a means to keep your teeth in that position.

Why Did My Teeth Shift?

Once the braces come off, your teeth not only breathe a sigh of relief, but they also get back to work trying to move into their former places. This inconvenience is simply due to the ligaments in your jaw activating their muscle memory and returning to the place they came from. Braces have the power to shift your teeth into their ideal positions, but if you opt not to wear your retainer, or wear it infrequently, your efforts likely won’t be enough to evade the likelihood of your teeth moving.

How Do Retainers Work?

Retainers are one more thing for your mouth to get used to after having just gone through the process of braces, but they are really much easier to deal with and care for. Retainers apply just enough pressure to keep your teeth in their intended places but not enough to shift teeth that have moved out of place.

What Options Do I Have?

If you’ve found yourself past the braces wearing period and are wondering if it’s too late to go back to your retainer, the best thing you can do is to immediately start wearing your retainer if it’s not too long after your braces were taken off.

However, if it has been a while since you regularly wore your retainer your teeth may have shifted considerably. If this is the case, here are a few options you could pursue to straighten your teeth:

  • Invisalign treatment
  • Traditional braces
  • Ceramic braces

Best Orthodontic Care In Fort Worth

Consistency is key while caring for your braces, and it’s no different post braces treatment. Cleaning, rinsing and flossing are all important practices while your braces are on and once they’ve been taken off, you will probably feel a great desire to keep your teeth sparkling white. However if your braces have been off a while and you’re sensing a shift in your teeth, you should seek orthodontic care before the change progresses. Ahava Orthodontics in Fort Worth will create a treatment plan to get your teeth back into their ideal position and preserve your smile. Call our office today at 817-926-9777 to see how Dr. Barron and the team at Ahava can help you get your smile back!