Why am I going backwards even though I have retainers? Do I need braces again?

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Last updated November 20, 2023


Doctor, I am on a retainer and it has gone backwards.
Do I need to correct it again?


I understand!
In this issue.We will discuss the causes of retroversion despite retainers, countermeasures, and prevention methods.

Causes of retrogression in spite of retainers

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There are five causes of retroversion in spite of retainers

  • Failure to follow mounting instructions
  • Damaged or deformed retainer
  • Habits around the mouth
  • Habits other than around the mouth
  • wisdom tooth

Failure to follow mounting instructions

Failure to follow instructions for wearing retainersIn some cases, the teeth may go back in alignment even with retainers.

Retainers should be used as directed by the dentist.

  • I keep the daily wearing time, but I don't use it every day.
  • I use it every day but not enough time to wear it.

There is a lot of backtracking in these cases.

Damaged or deformed retainer

If your teeth are retracting despite using retainers as directed by your dentist,Damaged or deformed retainers may also be a cause.

  • Unusual force is being applied to the retainer when detaching it.
  • Washing with hot water.
  • Scrubbing hard with a toothbrush.
  • Not stored in a dedicated case, etc.

This can cause the retainer to break or deform.

Habits around the mouth

The alignment of the teeth is affected by the pressure of the tongue and lips.

Therefore, even though orthodontic treatment can help align the teeth and biteIf tongue and lip habits are not cured, the teeth may retract even with retainers.

Habits other than around the mouth

Cheekbuttoning, chewing on one side of the head, sleeping on one side of the head, etc,Habits other than those around the mouth can disrupt the alignment and bite of the teeth.

Be aware that inappropriate forces applied from the outside of the cheeks, such as cheekbones and slouching, and the habit of chewing with only one tooth can affect the alignment of the teeth and cause retroversion, as can habits of the tongue and lips.

wisdom tooth

Wisdom teeth are teeth that grow in the very back of the dentition beginning in the late teens.

Although they grow, these teeth often do not emerge from the gums, but are buried horizontally in the bone or grow only partially at an angle.

Wisdom teeth,When growing, the entire dentition may be pushed forward in a domino-style, which can disrupt the alignment and bite of the teeth.

Post-orthodontics are no exception, and if the wisdom teeth push harder against the dentition than the retainer does to hold the teeth in place, the teeth and bite may become misaligned.

What to do if you have a retainer and it reverts

I'm on a retainer and I'm going backwards.

Retroversion with retainers is often handled in the following ways

  • Retainer to correct retroversion.
  • Rebuild retainer
  • perform a re-treatment

Since a dentist's diagnosis is needed to determine which method is best to address the problem, consult with your dentist as soon as you become concerned about retroversion.

Retainer to correct retroversion.

If there is no severe pain or misalignment when the retainer is put on,Retainer use as directed by the dentist may correct the retroversion.

However, this method can correct retroversion only when the misalignment is negligible.

  • Large misalignment when retainer is worn.
  • Retainer does not fit
  • Retainers hurt when worn.

In such cases, forcing a retainer will not only fail to correct the retroversion of the tooth,This is dangerous because it can damage teeth and gums.

Rebuild retainer

To prevent the teeth from going backward,This method is to rebuild the retainer and keep it current.

If the teeth are not backed out enough to require retreatment, new retainers should be placed as directed by the dentist to prevent backfilling.

perform a re-treatment

If you have significant dental retroversion or aesthetic concerns,Re-treatment will be done.

There may be an additional cost for re-treatment, so be sure to check the cost.

Preventive measures to avoid going back on retainers.

I'm on a retainer and I'm going backwards.

To prevent the phenomenon of "tooth retroversion despite retainers," keep the following in mind

  • Observe instructions for wearing retainers.
  • Be careful how you handle retainers.
  • Improve habits that disrupt the alignment of teeth
  • Remove wisdom teeth

Observe instructions for wearing retainers.

How to prevent backsliding,It is important to properly follow the instructions regarding the wearing of retainers.

The pattern of retainer attachment is,

  • In the beginning, wear it for at least 20 hours a day. Gradually decrease the amount of time you wear them, and eventually wear them only at bedtime.
  • From the beginning, only at bedtime, etc.

Thus, there are many different patterns.

The length of time and duration of wearing retainers depends on the condition of the mouth and the dentist's approach.

Be sure to follow your dentist's instructions carefully to prevent the teeth from reverting back.

Be careful how you handle retainers.

Depending on how retainers are handled, they may cause tooth retroversion due to deformation or breakage.

Follow instructions on how to put on/off, clean, and store retainers.Do not treat them roughly.

In addition, some types of retainers require periodic adjustments.

If you have a retainer that needs to be adjusted, make sure to visit your dentist for a check-up as directed by your dentist.

Improve habits that disrupt the alignment of teeth

  • Habit of sticking tongue out in front
  • Tongue Position
  • Lip pressure
  • mouth breathing
  • bracing (in building)
  • one side (e.g. of an argument)
  • Lying on one's stomach, etc.

These habits have a negative impact on the alignment of the teeth.

Especially since tongue and lip habits can greatly affect the alignment of teeth after orthodontic treatment,Be aware that you should try to heal from the correction.

Remove wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth can disrupt the alignment of teeth after orthodontic treatment.

If you examine the x-rays after orthodontic treatment and see wisdom teeth that are buried in the bone or growing at an angle,Consider extracting the tooth as soon as possible.


I'm on a retainer and I'm going backwards.

Teeth may revert even with retainers due to the following reasons

  • Failure to follow mounting instructions
  • Damaged or deformed retainer
  • Habits around the mouth
  • Habits other than around the mouth
  • wisdom tooth

Even if the cause is removed after the reverting occurs, re-treatment is basically required to restore the teeth to their original alignment before the reverting occurred.

Understand that even with retainers, teeth can still revert,It is advisable to ensure that retainers are worn in conjunction with improving habits that may disrupt the alignment of the teeth and considering wisdom tooth extraction.

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Graduated from Nagasaki University School of Dentistry, ~2018 Kyushu Medical Center, 2018-present Working at a dental clinic in Tokyo

UyRZkXPjQvAn5BK9ai6vfhAEgYGCePrS3Id158EZKuev 2TIlSXaZPkxY9dJ 3vCTCm7hqIEw6AzmlpdiuMD8H 9aD01UftplKrgMtn7dmYeSupervisor: Dentist/Naomi

After completing clinical training, worked in cosmetic dentistry in Tokyo. Currently a dentist and dental writer.

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