Lost my retainer, ortho doesn't have my old molds. If I buy a new one, will my teeth stay crooked as they are now?

So I had braces for 15 months, I think 3 years ago. I had one problem tooth at the time, which has since completely returned back to it's original shape. The ortho wanted to put in a permanent retainer (metal behind my teeth) and I didn't think I wanted that, so I refused. If I buy a new retainer, won't my teeth just stay in their current state? Or can I still have straight teeth?

Doctor Answers 2

Can retainers move teeth?

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Hi user877,

In general retainers are used to preserve the position of the teeth so as to prevent shifting.  However, sometimes we can adjust retainers to achieve small improvements such as closing small spaces or moving a tooth back into alignment that has moved forward/backward.  Usually turning or rotating a tooth is very difficult for a retainer alone to correct.

Keep in mind, in order to achieve any type of movement, the retainer will have to be worn on a full-time basis and then can be switched to part-time (i.e. while sleeping) once the correction has been achieved.

Hope that helps!

Manhattan Orthodontist


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We can make minor adjustments with a retainer, however it will at least keep them from shifting further. 

Brian D. Fann, DDS
Columbia Dentist

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