When you have an overbite, you try to find an alternative to braces. One option is the retainer and you may want it as it’s cheapest of them all. But, can a retainer actually fix an overbite?
A traditional retainer can fix an overbite when it’s minor, but it may not be effective as other orthodontic treatments. Mostly, this retainer’s used after braces treatment to prevent overbite from recurring. However, clear retainers or Invisalign clear aligners can correct almost any kind of overbite just like braces.
Should you choose old retainer or clear aligners if you have a mild overbite?
When and how can a retainer fix an overbite?
In this article, we have discussed all of these.
Can old retainers move teeth back?
A traditional retainer is an old variety of orthodontic devices. It’s made of some special types of chemicals such as acrylic.
In the past, it’s used to correct various orthodontic problems. But, now it uses limited to retain teeth after the braces treatment.
You may have heard that you have to wear a device after the removal of braces to hold the teeth in a new position. The retainer is that device.
Holding the teeth in position means it can apply force to your teeth and cause movement, instead it prevent the movement. So, how can it move your teeth back to fix the overbite?
The old retainer can shift teeth back. Actually, you get a slightly different variety of retainers for overbite correction. The name of that variety is the removable appliance with a labial bow.
A labial bow is made specially that move the teeth back by putting pressure. The orthodontist gives a special bend to the wire to achieve this goal. In retainer, he doesn’t give the bend.
Labial bow covers your upper front teeth to fix the overbite. The orthodontist also adds another piece of wires in the molar teeth area, called clasps.
That wires encircle your back teeth. He fixes the inside an acrylic made plate or base plate. The plate help set the device in your palate and mouth.
The labial bow and the whole device take support from clasps and work on your teeth.
How can an old retainer fix an overbite?
After having the removable appliance with the labial bow, it works on your responsible teeth and corrects the overbite following methods.
1. Applying a force by labial bow
The labial bow of the retainer is activated so that it put a force on the upper front teeth.
The orthodontist tightens the wire to produce the pressure on the teeth for that. So, after getting the device, you feel pressure on your teeth.
2. Change in the structure of the jaw bone of front teeth
Due to the force generated by the labial bow on your teeth, changes occur within the bones that support your teeth. This creates a path for the teeth to move in toward the direction of the force.
3. Producing a tipping movement of teeth
Because of the pressure and changes within the bones, your teeth start to move to the desired position. The activated retainer produces a tipping movement of the teeth.
4. Retaining the tooth in a new position
After teeth get straight, you get a new retainer that doesn’t put any pressure on your teeth. This helps prevent the teeth from going back to their old position.
Why people want retainers for overbite over other options?
The retainer is easy to use. You can remove it at any time. Most importantly, it costs the least.
So, people want to have a retainer instead of costly braces or Invisalign, especially in case of minor overbite.
Yes, an old retainer can correct your bite up to 1-2 mm, but it may not be effective like other orthodontic treatments.
Can retainers straighten teeth and fix overbite without braces?
The traditional retainer can correct a mild overbite without braces. But, it can’t be much beneficial like braces even with minor overbites.
However, it can work really well when we use it with braces. This is done in two-phase. First, you get braces to fix the misaligned teeth and overbite.
Then, after everything is done, you get retainers to hold the teeth in the new place. These retainers are used widely which produce no tooth movement, rather prevent reproducing of overbite.
When can’t old retainer fix an overbite?
Here are the cases when you can’t use the retainers for overbite:
1. Moderate to severe overbites
Retainer can’t correct moderate overbite like 5 mm, let alone severe overbite. If you have a severe overbite, braces or Invisalign can help you.
2. Skeletal overbites
When your jawbones have growth problems, you may develop overbite. This condition can’t be fixed with a retainer. In fact, you need jaw surgery for overbite correction.
3. Overbite with other orthodontic problems
The retainer with activated labial bow can’t correct the other types of malocclusion like crooked or crowded teeth. So, you can’t have the device if you other problems excluding overbite.
Why should you not choose an old retainer for overbite?
There are many reasons for not using it to fix an overbite. The first thing is the movement. The retainer can only create a tipping movement. This is a limitation of the device.
Bodily and other types of movements are possible with the help of braces or Invisalign. So, the retainer can’t move teeth properly and we can’t use it in complex cases.
Besides, it can move your teeth to a certain distance. We can only correct overbite up to 1-2 mm. Normal overbite is about 2-3 mm. So, overbite more than 4-5 mm can’t be fixed by this appliance.
Even if it brings your teeth back, an overbite may come back after a few months because of the tipping movement.
Moreover, overbite alone can’t be responsible for your condition. Mostly, people have other orthodontic problems as well. Sadly retainer can’t solve other issues.
So, treating the overbite alone won’t give you any good results. Other conditions can regenerate the overbite again.
Moreover, if you have an underdeveloped lower jaw or overdeveloped upper jaw, there is no way you get the old retainer.
Do retainers prevent overbite?
The retainer can prevent overbite from recurring after it’s corrected by braces or clear aligners.
In growing children it can be helpful to prevent the overgrowth of the jaw or prevent sticking out of upper teeth.
But, it doesn’t use for this purpose now. Braces, Invisalign, or headgear are better options to prevent overbite in a growing child.
Can a clear retainer fix an overbite?
Clear retainer or Invisalign clear aligners can easily correct almost any type of overbite with the help of different attachments and modern techniques.
Just like an old retainer, it’s removable and easy to use, but it’s effective just like braces.
This clear retainer put pressure on teeth and produces different types of tooth movement. It can solve many complicated overbite cases.
What should you do for your overbite?
You may have an old retainer for overbite as it’s the cheapest alternative to braces. But, most of the time, it’s not a good idea, because it’s action is so limited.
Even if the old retainer corrects some minor overbites, it may not be effective like braces or Invisalign. There is also a high chance of recurring of the overbite.
So, what can you do to fix the overbite? Here are the solutions:
1. Clear retainer or Invisalign
You should prefer a modern removable clear retainer or aligners such as Invisalign to fix the overbite.
Those who want a retainer can get all the advantages of the old retainer from the Invisalign. Moreover, it can work just like braces.
If you don’t have any problem having the fixed device, you can go with braces to get the best result. Braces can fix any kind of malocclusion and they can give you perfect looking teeth and a smile.
Headgear is another solution to the bite problem. A growing child can get treatment.