Will My Teeth Straighten Out If I Wear My Retainer Again?
Oral Health Blog

Will My Teeth Straighten Out If I Wear My Retainer Again?

Yes, wearing your retainer again can help straighten your teeth if they've shifted slightly. Using a purple persulfate-free retainer cleaner ensures your retainer stays clean and effective, helping you achieve the best results without irritation or allergies.

Understanding the Role of Retainers

Retainers are custom-made devices designed to keep your teeth in their new positions after braces or clear aligners. There are two main types of retainers:

  • Removable Retainers: Typically made of clear plastic or acrylic and can be easily taken out for eating and cleaning.
  • Fixed Retainers: Bonded to the back of the teeth, providing permanent support to maintain alignment.

Why Teeth Shift After Orthodontic Treatment

Several factors can cause your teeth to shift after you’ve completed orthodontic treatment:

  • Natural Aging: As you age, your teeth naturally shift due to changes in your jawbone.
  • Neglecting Retainers: Not wearing your retainer as instructed allows teeth to gradually move back.
  • Wisdom Teeth: The eruption of wisdom teeth can exert pressure on surrounding teeth.
  • Daily Habits: Teeth grinding, nail-biting, and other habits can contribute to shifting.

Can Wearing Your Retainer Again Straighten Your Teeth?

The effectiveness of wearing your retainer again largely depends on the extent of the teeth movement and how long you've gone without wearing it. Here’s a detailed look at different scenarios:

  1. Minimal Shifting: If your teeth have only shifted slightly, wearing your retainer again might help move them back to their correct positions. This process can take a few days to weeks.

  2. Moderate Shifting: If you’ve noticed more noticeable movement, wearing your retainer might not be enough to correct the misalignment. In such cases, a visit to your orthodontist is necessary. They may need to adjust your retainer or recommend a new one.

  3. Severe Shifting: Significant movement may require more intensive treatment. Your orthodontist might suggest re-treatment with braces or clear aligners to achieve the desired results.

Steps to Take If Your Teeth Have Shifted

  1. Assess the Situation: Determine how much your teeth have shifted by comparing your current smile to old photos or by looking in the mirror.

  2. Consult Your Orthodontist: Schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to discuss your concerns. They can assess the extent of movement and recommend the best course of action.

  3. Follow Professional Advice: Adhere to the guidelines provided by your orthodontist, whether it involves wearing your old retainer, getting a new one, or starting a new treatment plan.

Importance of Wearing Your Retainer Consistently

To prevent future shifting, it’s vital to wear your retainer as recommended by your orthodontist. Here are some tips to help you stay consistent:

  • Set Reminders: Use alarms or smartphone reminders to prompt you to wear your retainer.
  • Clean Regularly: Maintain a regular cleaning routine to keep your retainer hygienic and comfortable to wear.
  • Store Properly: Keep your retainer in its case when not in use to prevent loss or damage.

Long-term Retainer Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your retainer ensures it remains effective and comfortable. Here’s how to take care of it:

  • Daily Cleaning: Use a soft toothbrush and mild soap to clean your retainer daily.
  • Avoid Heat: Keep your retainer away from heat sources, which can warp the material.
  • Regular Check-ups: Visit your orthodontist regularly to ensure your retainer is in good condition and still fits properly.


Wearing your retainer again can help straighten your teeth if the shifting is minimal. However, for moderate to severe movement, consulting your orthodontist is crucial to determine the best treatment plan. Consistent retainer use, combined with professional guidance, will help you maintain your perfect smile for years to come.

By understanding the importance of retainers and adhering to recommended practices, you can effectively prevent and address any shifting of your teeth. Remember, your smile is an investment worth protecting, and regular retainer use is key to maintaining it.

Are you currently using or thinking about using retainer cleaning tablets? It's important to be aware that certain cleaner brands have the potential to cause toxic reactions.

It's crucial to be aware of harmful ingredients hiding in common cleaner brands. One such persulfate, which can pose SERIOUS health risks and is found in almost all leading retainer cleaners brands. Moreover, persulfate's health risks potentially impact respiratory health and skin sensitivities in your family, especially in teens and sensitive individuals. Learn more about the risk of persulfate HERE. 



The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the information provided in this article.