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Do Retainers Hurt: Reasons You Will Feel Pain

Many of you have considered orthodontic treatment but are worried it will hurt after taking a retainer. Here, we will discuss do Retainers Hurt or not.

What is a Retainer?

A retainer is an orthodontic appliance used to retain the proper alignment of the tooth. This is used when a person with a misaligned tooth comes to correct the malpositions. The orthodontists fabricate the appliances based on the patient’s oral anatomy and are provided to solve the orthodontic problems.

There are many types of retainers. The retainers can be classified into two categories: fixed and removable. Fixed orthodontic retainers can not be removed with the Patient’s will, while you can remove the removable retainers with your own will. Bonded and elastic retainers are examples of fixed retainers. Hawley’s and Begg’s retainers are the perfect examples of removable orthodontic retainers.

At present, a new type of retainer is used in dentistry. People who are aware of their aesthetic prefer something invisible to others. For that, invisible retainers, which cope with the patient’s teeth without hampering the look, are used. People often ask if retainers hurt while applied to the mouth.

When an orthodontic retainer is needed?

People with mild to moderate orthodontic problems need a retainer to correct them. Here are some cases when a dentist suggests a retainer:

Severely Proclined Anterior Tooth:

People who have severely proclined anterior teeth need a removable orthodontic retainer. A retainer-like Hawley’s pulls the teeth backwards and makes them inclined. An orthodontist activates the retainer to produce enough force to move the teeth back to their desired position.

Spacing in anterior teeth:

People with spacing in the front tooth need a retainer to close the space in between. With optimum force, the retainer slowly decreases the space between the teeth.

To achieve the desired overjet and overbite:

Overjet is the vertical overlapping of the teeth, while the horizontal overlapping of the teeth is called overbite. Orthodontists often use retainers to achieve the desired overjet and overbite.

Retain the teeth in the optimum position:

Sometimes, retainers are used for retention purposes with other orthodontic appliances. The main goal is not to move the tooth excessively from its normal position. While other orthodontic appliances push the tooth forward, the retainer holds them stable and achieves a favourable overjet.

Do Retainers Hurt?

No, Orthodontic retainers don’t hurt. When you go to an orthodontist, he will take an impression and make a model of your mouth. Then, he will fabricate the retainer according to the model. The retainer will not obstruct any part of your oral cavity or cause pain.

When the retainer is fabricated, the dentist will see the adjustment and provide it without activation. Patients must wear it in their mouth for 5-7 days to get used to speaking and eating. The dentist activates the retainer after 5-7 days to gain orthodontic changes. With optimal force, the correction can be noticed within a few weeks.

Patients must make several visits during the treatment procedure because the retainers must be re-activated after a while. While changes occur in the teeth, forces decrease. To apply the force again, dentists readjust the retainers carefully so that it doesn’t produce any extra pressure.

Reasons You will feel pain after taking a retainer:

There are many reasons that the retainers do hurt in the mouth. Here are some of them:

Poor Design of the Appliance:

If you go to an unprofessional dentist without prior knowledge of orthodontics, he may fabricate their retainer from technicians. In most cases, these retainers are poorly fabricated and cause pain.

Breakage of the retainers:

In many cases, retainers break into the mouth. If the retainer fails to take the masticatory force or the appliance is made with low-quality materials, it breaks in the mouth, causing severe pain.

Improper Fit of the Retainers:

Many patients complain that their retainer does not fit in their teeth perfectly. Some dentists try to adjust them forcefully in the mouth. Eventually, it affects the soft tissues of the mouth and raises pain.

Too much activation of the retainers:

Orthodontists follow an universal rule of how much pressure should be applied to gain desired change. If excessive pressure is applied to the tooth throughout its retainers, you may feel pain in your gum.

Improper finishing and polishing:

Improper and inadequate base plate finishing and polishing can cause pain in the hard palate. A baseplate is made with monomer and polymer to hold the orthodontic appliances together. It has to be properly polished and trimmed before applying to the patient’s mouth.

How to maintain a retainer?

If you have an orthodontic problem and your dentist has provided you with a retainer, there are certain ways to maintain them. With proper maintenance, the retainers do not hurt. Here are some of them:

  1. If you have a removable retainer, wash it regularly. You can use mild soap and limewater to clean them.
  2. Remove the food particles and other foreign bodies accumulated with your retainer.
  3. Never, I repeat, try to activate the retainer on your own; this will destroy all the correction happened to your teeth.
  4. You should wear the retainer as much time as you can. You must wear a retainer for 20-22 hours daily to make good changes.
  5. Keep the retainer in a jar of water when you are not wearing the retainer, as the base plate tends to shrink if left dry.
  6. Consult your dentist if you feel pain.

Final Words on Do Retainers Hurt:

An orthodontic retainer is a non-surgical procedure and the most convenient way to correct misaligned teeth. If the retainer is fabricated perfectly and applied by a trained orthodontist, retainers do not hurt. So, before taking any dental consultation, take proper information about the dentist and the dental clinic you are willing to visit.


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