Will Wearing a Retainer Move my Jaw? (photo)

I have a weak jaw/chin and was looking into my options for strengthening these features. I had braces a couple years ago and got a retainer, but I never used it because my teeth don't seem to move. I noticed, however, that the retainer forces my lower jaw into a more forward position. I was wondering if wearing it regularly would improve the look of my jaw. I'm 19. I'm also considering surgical options.

Doctor Answers 2

Retainers "retain"

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The purpose of a retainer is simply to hold things in place, not move them.  While your retainer (more likely a functional appliance) may seem to have this effect, its effects are likely minor and not permanent.

The only real way to treat you would be braces again combined with surgery.  If all other things are fine, a chin implant can be an option.

Will a retainer change my jaw position

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Retainers should not have any effect on your jaw position....if yours does then it is really not a "retainer" but a "functional appliance".  In any case it will not have any effect on your jaw structure as you are no longer growing.  From the looks of your picture you certainly would benefit from some type of surgery.  If your teeth and bite are good then a chin implant might help, otherwise I'm afraid you would need to get retreated in braces followed by jaw surgery

Robert Waxler, DMD, MS
Saint Louis 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.