I didn't wear my retainer for weeks and my teeth have shifted. I also lost the retainer so what do I do?

I had braces for 2 years and in the end recieved a clear plastic retainer. I wore the retainer for two years but recently i stopped for a few weeks. Now two teeth on the bottom show have noticeably shifted and I lost the retainer. Will i need braces a second time? Because I think if i make a new retainer it will have to be in the shape of my shifted teeth. What will happen to my teeth and what should i do?

Doctor Answers 2

Options for relapse

You may want to at least consider a replacement retainer to hold your teeth in their current position.  If your teeth moved so quickly after a few weeks of not wearing your retainer, it is possible that the shifting will continue and re-treatment may be more involved. 

I would recommend making an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible.  They will be able to evaluate the current position of your teeth and make the appropriate recommendations.  It is not always necessary to have braces put back on your teeth to realign them.  There are other treatment modalities.

You may want to consider a fixed lingual (behind the teeth) retainer to help maintain the alignment of your teeth.  Once again please discuss these options with your orthodontist. 

I hope this information helps.  

Dr. C


Doylestown Orthodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

I didn't wear my retainer for weeks and my teeth have shifted. I also lost the retainer so what do I do?

Whether or not you will need braces a second time depends on how much your teeth have shifted and how much it bothers you. You are correct that a new retainer will have to be in the shape of your shifted teeth. Without retainers, your teeth will continue shifting slowly. Have new retainers made to maintain current teeth position (if only slight change), or get braces again for a short time. After full-time wear for 3-6 months, removable retainers should be worn indefinitely at night time.

Bangorn S. Terry, MS, DMD
Colorado Springs Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.