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Doctor insights on: Retainer

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Dr. Jeffrey Stevens
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Retainer (Overview)

Retainers are orthodontic appliances designed to minimize changes over time in your nice orthodontic result that you and your orthodontist have worked so hard for. Wear them as long as you care.


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Need doctor's help! What do retainers do to the teeth?

Need doctor's help! What do retainers do to the teeth?

Retainer: Simply stated the name is the function. When teeth are moved orthodontically (or whatever way) the retainer holds them in that position allowing the bone around that tooth, or teeth to remold around the root to keep it where it is now. That being said it can take quite some time for a retainer to assure no movement, some may need to be worn theoretically forever.

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Dr. Jeffrey Stevens
1 Doctor shared a insight

Retainer (Overview)

Retainers are orthodontic appliances designed to minimize changes over time in your nice orthodontic result that you and your orthodontist have worked so hard for. Wear them as long as you care.


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If I don't wear a retainer after braces, will my teeth go exactly back to how they were? I have not been good about remembering to wear my retainer, and am beginning to wonder if I really even need to..

If I don't wear a retainer after braces, will my teeth go exactly back to how they were? I have not been good about remembering to wear my retainer, and am beginning to wonder if I really even need to..

Investment: You invested a great deal of time and money resolving your malocclusion. I can guarantee you that if you do not wear your retainers as prescribed, your teeth will shift, slowly at first, then with increasing rapidity. Don't seek absolution, seek compliance, or you will be greatly disappointed.

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How can you wear retainers and a mouthguard at the same time at night?

Night Guard: The purpose of a retainer is to prevent your teeth from moving and a hard full coverage night guard may be worn as the retainers.

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Can you tell me if I could use listerine, while having an inviaslign retainer?

Can you tell me if I could use listerine, while having an inviaslign retainer?

No restrictions: Because they can be removed, you are able to brush and floss your teeth just like you normally would. You can also soak retainers in a half and half solution of Listerine and water twice a week to get them extra clean.

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Are acrylic orthodontic retainers safe to use?

Are acrylic orthodontic retainers safe to use?

Of course: If unsafe they would have been banned by the fda. Acrylic has been used in dentistry for over a century. There are an infinitesimally small group of people allergic to acrylic, but less than are allergic to strawberries or chocolate. Don't worry. Chance of allergy less than chance of being struck by lightning.

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Instead of using a retainer, I have been tying floss around my front teeth. Is this dangerous?

Instead of using a retainer, I have been tying floss around my front teeth. Is this dangerous?

Retainers for?: An interesting idea ; these types of simple, creative ; inexpensive attempts to straighten or retain teeth have been tried many times but to no avail. Not only do they not work as well as conventional orthodontics, but yes. They often do cause problems. You are better off doing nothing than trying this. See an orthodontist or general dentist for a consult.

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What is clear retainer made of? I know it's plastic, but would like to know details to look up the potential toxicity.

PVC: This is a polypropylene or polyvinylchloride material, typically. 020" or. 030" thick. PVC only releases dioxin if it is not incinerated properly. It is not the case in orthodontics. All orthodontic materials used are CE and FDA approved Dental Clinic Products. Ask your orthodontist for more information. Nothing to be concerned.

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Is wearing mouth retainer an effective way to stop snoring?

Is wearing mouth retainer an effective way to stop snoring?

It can be: If you are a robust snorer, you should first have a sleep study to make sure you don't have sleep apnea. If not, an appliance made by a dentist who is trained in this procedure, is a viable alternative.

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Is it possible for mouthguards to work as a retainers?

Is it possible for mouthguards to work as a retainers?

Yes: Custom made (not OTC) mouth guard can act as retainer as long as total hours are achieved. Your Orthodotic Specialist will have to properly adjust it for you.

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Retainer pain help?

See Orthodontist NOW: Assuming no damage to retainers, missing time in retainers can allow teeth to shift. If retainers damaged can cause teeth to shift. Not wearing retainers can allow further destabilization. Before things get worse see your orthodontic specialist for evaluation, retainer adjustment, or whatever may be necessary.

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I stopped using teeth retainers two years ago. Now, my upper teeth are moving forward. The retainers are tight and painful, but they fit. Will using them now help?

I stopped using teeth retainers two years ago. Now, my upper teeth are moving forward. The retainers are tight and painful, but they fit. Will using them now help?

What you should do:: It's like calling your physician to ask about what to do after being treated for some medical problem two years earlier. It's even worse as we were not your treating doctor. If you want an accurate answer & some good advice, then please go back to your orthodontist to evaluate both your bite\ tooth position now, along with how wearing your retainer will effect things. Hopefully you can use it again.

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What does my permanent retainer hurt my teeth?

It shouldn't: Have the orthodontist who fabricated it examine it for a proper fit.

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Why isn't my orthodontic retainer working?

Why isn't my orthodontic retainer working?

Orthodontic retainer: If you do not wear orthodontic retainers as prescribed by your orthodontist then your teeth will go crooked again, and the hard work in wearing the braces will be lost. The reason for wearing retainers is to keep teeth in place after dental braces.

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How often can I need to replace my dental retainer?

See a dentist: A professional can assess whether or not your retainer is worn to the point of replacement and if it is functioning as designed.

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Is there anything besides implants to replace molars that have been removed? Have two back molars that needed to be removed, do not qualifie for implant due to my bone density. Is there anything else that I can do? Is there any type of retainer that can

Is there anything besides implants to replace molars that have been removed? Have two back molars that needed to be removed, do not qualifie for implant due to my bone density. Is there anything else that I can do? Is there any type of retainer that can

Partial denture: A retainer for this situation is usually considered a short term solution, but still appropriate, and sometimes a required step of a larger treatment plan to restore your bite. In this case it is called an interim partial denture and is much like a retainer which includes the two teeth. A more permanent version of this would be called a partial denture, and is usually made with metal.

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Retainer pain help?

See Orthodontist NOW: Assuming no damage to retainers, missing time in retainers can allow teeth to shift. If retainers damaged can cause teeth to shift. Not wearing retainers can allow further destabilization. Before things get worse see your orthodontic specialist for evaluation, retainer adjustment, or whatever may be necessary.

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How can I file my retainers?

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!: Don't do it. Retainers are custom made and finely honed. If you have a problem with your retainer, call your orthodontist immediately for an adjustment appointment. Take advantage of his/her 10+ years of training. The orthodontist knows what to do and the most efficient way to do it. If you try to do this yourself you can do irreparable damage to the retainer, your occlusion, or both.

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When can I take off my retainer?

Retainer is forever: You wear retainer more hours (16-20) right after orthodontic treatment was completed, and then over time start wearing it less. Make sure it fits every time you put it on.

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