Can Retainers Straighten or Move Back Your Teeth?


Orthodontists suggest wearing retainers after braces or Invisalign treatment for at least 6 months. The retainers retain the corrected position of teeth after the orthodontic treatment. Whether you went under treatment for an overbite, crossbite, or crowding, you need retainers to prevent your teeth from coming back to their previous position. They are custom-made for every patient with wires and transparent plastics.

Can Retainers Straighten Your Teeth?

Retainers are not designed to straighten your teeth but to keep them in a fixed position. However, it can work for some minor corrections. But you can’t expect them to move teeth significantly. Reason being that they can’t exert the same pressure as Invisalign or braces. However, they can be used to move back the teeth to the correct position, which went back to their previous place after orthodontics treatment. But that also needs to be a minor shift and not a major one.

Orthodontics Treatments to Straighten Your Teeth

There are various orthodontics treatments available to straighten teeth. Some of the most common options are as follows:-

  • Metal Braces

Fixed metal braces are still considered the most standard fix for a gap in teeth and other teeth misalignments. The traditional metal braces are transformed a lot with time. They are not as big as they used to be. And the wire used in modern metal braces causes less pain. But for the total success of the treatment, you need to wear retainers after braces for some time.

  • Lingual Braces

You might want an invisible treatment like an Invisalign. But sometimes, your orthodontist might insist on metal braces. Lingual braces are your best bet in such a case. These braces are also made up of metal. But they are tied to your teeth from the back. Thus it does not make your ongoing treatment evident to others.

  • Ceramic Braces

As the name suggests, the brackets of these braces are made of ceramic material. They are matched with the color and texture of your teeth. Ceramic braces work like metal braces only. However, they are much discreet because of being made out of teeth-like ceramic material.

  • Invisalign

Invisalign is the most modern way of straitening teeth. They are made of a clear plastic material. Therefore they are virtually invisible to others. It is most popular amongst young teens and adults who don’t want to appear with braces publically. Moreover, you can remove the Invisalign tray before brushing and eating. It gives you the freedom to eat anything, unlike braces.

What is the Proper Way to Wear &Take Care of Your Retainers?

The effectiveness of wearing retainers after braces largely depends on the way you wear them. Taking proper care of your retainers also matters. Check out the following tips to take good care of your retainers:-

  • Rinse your retainers with cold water each time you use them.
  • Don’t forget to clean your retainers after every meal. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Don’t store retainers loosely anywhere or in a napkin, as there are chances of someone throwing it away by accident.
  • It is best to keep retainers in their designated storage case only when you are not using them. Always carry their case with you.
  • Keep them at room temperature and don’t rinse them with hot water. Heat can result in the warping of the retainers.
  • Keep your retainers away from kids and pets.
  • Contact your dental professional in case you lose or damage your current set of retainers.

Bottom Line

Retainers can’t straighten the teeth, but they play a vital role in keeping them in a straight position. So take care of your retainers and wear them diligently according to the instructions of your orthodontist.

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