Q. Should I use my old retainer or get a new one after three years of my orthodontic treatment?

Answered by
Dr. Mayank Khandelwal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 22, 2022

Hi doctor,

I have started wearing my retainers again after three years (my orthodontist had said that I could stop using them). Initially, it did not fit properly but now after about one week, it fits perfectly fine. Though I think my front two teeth have got a gap between them. I thought that I will go to my orthodontist and I will ask for a new retainer that I can wear every night, but now I am thinking that should I stop wearing the retainer that I have? Also, I am not sure but I noticed the teeth shifting in a bad way after I started wearing my retainers again. I thought maybe it would shift to how they were when braces came off, but now a gap is forming between the teeth, which I did not have earlier.



Welcome to

Retainers are of various types. Please share what kind of retainers are you having, Hawley's (single wire retainers) or Essix retainers (transparent retainers).

There was a bit of difficulty for you to put on retainers after three years as your teeth would have shifted a bit by then but as you continued wearing them, you got adjusted to it. However, even retainers undergo some amount of deformation over a period of time so, that may worsen the situation.

I would recommend you to visit the orthodontist for a fresh pair of retainers. Based on your current tooth position, retainers would be fabricated, eliminating the potential fear of side effects.

Also, as you are noticing some gap forming between the teeth, the orthodontist can provide you with an active retainer to close the gap. Once in two months, a follow-up would ensure gap closure as well as a routine check-up for you so, kindly visit the orthodontist for the same.

If you have any further questions, do reach out.

Kindly provide your valuable feedback once you are satisfied with the response and your queries are taken care of.


Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
I have large buck teeth and triangular gap between rows. Do I need braces?

I was wondering with the information provided above, do you think I need braces, a retainer, or Invisalign ... Retainer and Invisalign almost serve the same purpose of maintaining the moved or corrected teeth through braces ......   Read full

I have braces to close the gap between front teeth. How long will it take to close the gap?

Though the pace varies from person to person, the gap (diastema) does close with time ...   Read full

I lost my retainers and my front teeth got seperated. What should I do to fix my teeth?

Two years ago, I lost my upper retainers ... If the gaps are negligible, removable retainers can be worn which can close the gaps ...   Read full


Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

Management of Coronasomnia
Coronasomnia refers to increased sleep problems among people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the below article to get...  Read more»
Balantidiasis - Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
Balantidiasis is a rare bacterial infection caused by a parasite called Balantidium coli. Read the article below to know...  Read more»
JAK Inhibitors in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Doctors mainly suggest JAK or Janus kinase inhibitors for patients with rheumatoid arthritis to ease their symptoms. Rea...  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an Orthodontist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.