It is a very common question patients ask. Most of the patients are young adults who had braces as a child, did not wear a retainer for some time, and have had some teeth shifting. So, does wearing a retainer shift teeth back? It depends on the amount of shifting and which teeth have moved.
Can Wearing a Retainer Fix Slight Teeth Shift?
The most likely answer is no. Why? Because retainers don’t allow precise control and predictable tooth movements, they are often an incomplete solution. Therefore, to correct the shift and get the teeth back where they belong usually requires either braces or clear aligners like Invisalign.
How do Braces Work?
If the teeth are severely misaligned, orthodontists can use braces to gradually shift the patient’s teeth in the desired direction over an extended time. They are placed in certain spots on the teeth that are customized for the patient.
Braces may be removable or fixed, depending on patients’ specific needs. Braces and the wires that go with them, cause the muscle, bone, and gum structure of the patient’s jaw to change with time. As a result, they will require many adjustments to compensate for these changes. During treatment, visits every 6-8 weeks to the orthodontist are common. They will adjust the bands, springs, or wires of the braces, and check to ensure that the process is working as intended.
How do Aligners Work?
Invisalign aligners are a substitute for traditional braces. They are made of medical-grade transparent plastic. Invisalign is custom-fitted to the individual patient and is almost invisible compared to braces. Patients receive a series of aligners and change them every week as long as the treatment goes on.
If you want to find out more or discuss your retainer or dental care options, make an appointment. You can call 832.924.2666 to schedule an appointment with Sair Dental Group today!