Closing Gaps Between Teeth With a Retainer?

You know lots of kids have braces because they have straight, but not together, teeth. Well my daughter has that situation. So can she wear a retainer without having braces? Please let me know about your experiences, before 12/22, if at all possible. Thank you.


By korina from Tacoma, WA

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December 13, 20110 found this helpful

The only person who can reasonably answer that one is the orthodontist. I suspect the answer will be no, though, because all a retainer does is hold things in place for a few years while the teeth become firmly set in the place the braces have moved them to-the process of moving the teeth can take up to six years (lol, ask me how I know, full metal jacket back in the 70s, thought those things would never come off), then the retainer acts to hold the teeth in the new position while the roots take really firm hold in the jaw.

It's like this-did you know that when you have a tooth pulled it takes over six months for the extraction site to fully heal? That lengthy healing is in your jaw.


It's the same with orthodontic treatments-the treatment consists of using braces to force the teeth to move to a new position, taking the roots with them. The braces are tightened on a regular schedule to tighten the alignment as the teeth gradually move, and force the movement to continue.

Once the braces have moved the teeth into the new positions it still takes quite a while for the roots to get a permanent grip in the jaw, hence the need for retainers after the real moving is done by the braces.

If your child simply has widely spaced teeth the treatment with braces shouldn't take that long; the need to wear the retainers after the treatment might even be longer than the time in the braces.

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December 13, 20110 found this helpful

I also had braces for a lenghty time and the retainer is indeed to keep the teeth in place after the teeth have been moved. Your daughter will not have to wear the braces or retainer for very long with such a minor problem.


If you're talking about only one gap there is another option to braces but I don't know what the cost is. It's a removable cap/crown device. Actually, a gap between the teeth has become quite popular so this device might be a realistic option.

I don't know about Frugalsunnie's teeth before braces but mine were so bucked that I could put my little finger in between the upper and lower front teeth with my jaw closed and my bottom teeth were almost sideways in the front - LOL!

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December 14, 20110 found this helpful

Roflol, Deeli, mine were like that too-in fact I can still get a straw in that area even after all those years in the braces. Sigh. Turned out I would have needed jaw surgery to close the under bite, and I wasn't willing to do that!


After six years in the braces (and three in retainers) the crooked were (and still are) straight, and I was happy with that:)

I have to say that although wearing those things was uncomfortable and I complained a lot, I'm very grateful my parents went the cost, very.

The under bite doesn't bother me but the teeth that were twisted and sticking almost straight out from my face did. I looked terrible and it affected my personality really, after I got braces and the teeth started to move I started smiling and wasn't as timid. Made a very real difference in my life.

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