Orthodontist Questions Orthodontist

How do I stop my teeth from shifting without a retainer?

I am a 22 year old male. I want to know how can I stop my teeth from shifting without a retainer?

11 Answers

Tough question: You will need to get a permanent retainer. See us or your orthodontist.
Teeth shifting is a natural effect of living and using your teeth. Once in a stable position they will move less but will always move some. Without dying, some form of retention/retainer to reposition or hold your teeth in the position you would like, they will always adjust.

The only way to prevent your teeth from shifting is with a retainer. Without a retainer to hold your teeth in their current position, your teeth will slowly shift over time. Like any other part of the human body, there are gradual changes as we go through the aging process. If you do not want to wear a removable type retainer, you can ask your Orthodontist if a permanent retainer, which is a wire glued to the back of your teeth, is an option.
Cannot stop teeth shifting without a retainer. Bone remodels throughout life and teeth move because of this.
Get a new retainer so the shifting doesn’t get worse
Teeth are not set in stone! That is what allows an orthodontist to move teeth that are crooked and create amazing confident smiles! Teeth are held in place, in their bone sockets, by periodontal ligaments, all of which are very much alive and active. Without a retainer, your teeth will not stay in place and they will eventually shift due to external forces caused by the tongue, lips, cheeks, habits (tongue thrust, finger/thumb sucking, pencil/pen biting, etc.), eating, sleeping positions, posture, periodontal inflammation, teeth clenching and grinding, etc. So, if you do not want your teeth to shift, use retainers. That is why orthodontists give their patients a set of retainers after orthodontic treatment and recommend lifetime wear to maintain the alignment of their teeth. After full-time wear for 6-12 months, followed by 6-12 months of nighttime wear, patients can reduce retainer wear time to 1x/week for life. Please see your local orthodontist to determine what type of retainers would be best for you and how often you should wear them.

Daniel A. Flores, DDS, MS
I don't want anyone to adopt this solution- death will stop teeth from shifting. The body is always changing and teeth are in a dynamic hostile environment. Change is inevitable. If you want your teeth to remain ideal retainers are necessary, but even so a retainer can hold teeth in a non-biological position over time and sometimes a shift in teeth is a self protecting natural event and it is important to know the difference and get expert advice about retention.
You can’t. Teeth shifting is normal. The only way to stop it is through retention.
There is no way to keep your teeth from shifting without a retainer. Most people can just wear a retainer at night for one to two nights a week to prevent shifting. It's very little maintenance.

Dr. Colin Gibson

You can't. Some sort of retainer is essential
Unfortunately, we use our teeth every day. Therefore, teeth will shift throughout our lifetime whether or not we had orthodontic treatment. The only way to keep teeth from shifting is to wear a retainer for life. I recommend full time wear for the first 6 months and then only night time while sleeping thereafter.


Glenn P. Frial DDS, MS, APC