Which Orthodontic Option is Best: Removable Retainers? Invisible Braces?

In the Past 20 Years, Braces Have Come a Long Way.

Perhaps you had braces in your childhood and remember the retainer you wore afterward to keep your teeth straight. Or, maybe you had orthodontic treatment in adulthood and still have the retainer you were given. If your teeth have shifted over time, you may even wonder:

Can retainers straighten teeth?

Some people have even gone as far as to ask themselves:  Woman’s mouth close-up as she inserts invisible braces over teeth with hand.

Will putting in an old retainer straighten my teeth?

While these are perfectly reasonable questions to ponder, they are better posed to your dentist or orthodontist. At Penn Dental Family Practice, our dental and orthodontic specialists are committed to helping our patients safely and effectively achieve their smile goals. So, let’s take a look at whether using a retainer will help straighten your teeth—or if there is another option that will better meet your needs.

Can Retainers Straighten Teeth Without Braces?

First and foremost, it’s worth considering how far braces have come since their inception. Perhaps most important to many, they are infinitely more attractive. Today’s brackets are smaller, and fewer rubber bands are used (if they are used at all.) Still—many people look at alternatives to braces when they want to straighten their teeth.

There are actually a few methods of straightening teeth that some people may be able to consider. Because a removable option is so appealing, may wonder: Can retainers straighten teeth?

For a limited number of people, yes, retainers can straighten teeth. However, it is important to visit one of our orthodontists for a consultation. Based on your situation, they will let you know if you are a good candidate for retainers, or if an alternative solution would be better. Although each patient is different, your provider will consider the following:

As an adult, you are a good candidate if: man’s hand holds a green dental retainer.

  • Overcrowding is limited, and your desired adjustments appear to be minor.

As a child, you are a good candidate if:

  • You are experiencing malocclusion. This refers to when the bite is out of alignment. There are appliances (i.e., Herbst appliance) that can adjust the position of the jaw.
  • You have an underdeveloped palate or a narrowing upper jaw. A palatal expander can be placed in the child’s mouth to help make room for teeth that are growing in, reducing crowding.

What Is The Best Option for Straightening Teeth?

As we’ve mentioned, the best way to know for sure which method of straightening teeth is best for you is to have a visit with one of our PDFP orthodontists. In addition to traditional braces and removable retainers, many patients have been pleased with the results from invisible braces.

Invisible braces are similar to retainers in that they are also removable. Treatment with clear aligners differs in that:

  • You will be provided with a series of several clear aligners that are changed approximately every two weeks.
  • You will visit your PDFP orthodontist every few weeks to check your progress.
  • Your aligners will need to be worn a minimum of 22 hours per day for best results.
  • You can take your invisible braces out for meals and special occasions.
  • You can brush and floss as you normally would.
  • Your treatment will likely be complete within 12 months.

Explore All Your Orthodontic Options Black woman wearing glasses, tan shirt, and yellow blazer holds invisible braces using other hand to point to aligner.

The best part about coming to Penn Dental Family Practice and getting started on your invisible braces journey is the quality doctors we provide for you. And, don’t forget to request your free invisible braces consultation to get started!Can retainers straighten teeth for you and your family? Or, could invisible braces be the best treatment? Find out now. For more information on how Penn Dental Family Practice can give you a beautiful smile, give us a call today!

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We look forward to serving you and your family.