Can Orthodontic Retainers Cause Tooth Pain?

If you have recently finished wearing clear aligners or braces, your dentist will prescribe removable or fixed retainers. The purpose of these retainers is to keep your teeth steadfast in their new positions and prevent them from moving unnecessarily. Unfortunately, many people do not wear their retainers as per the dentist’s instructions, which can result in treatment relapse. Furthermore, many retainer wearers complain of toothache with retainer use. This can occur due to various reasons.

This blog will discuss different factors that can cause dental pain while wearing retainers and how to overcome them. Furthermore, we will also discuss other commonly asked questions about orthodontic retainer use.

Will I Do Any Damage By Forcing My Retainer Over My Teeth?

Teeth retainers are passive appliances. This means they will not exert any pressure or force on your teeth. Instead, they are simply worn over the teeth to prevent them from moving backwards. However, if you feel that your retainers are fitting over your teeth, you should not wear them and contact your dentist for having them replaced. If you forcefully wear your retainers over your teeth, it can result in unwanted tooth movement, causing tooth misalignment.

Can I Drink Hot Tea With My Retainers In?

It is not advisable to drink hot beverages with your retainers on. Why? Because hot tea or coffee can result in the warpage of the retainers, inducing dimensional changes. As a result, the retainers may not fit over your teeth anymore. Hence, it is always advisable to take one’s retainers off before enjoying hot drinks is always advisable. Similarly, one should never put their retainers in boiling water as it can induce the same effect.

Why Do Retainers Hurt? How Can I Relieve This Pain?

Typically, retainers should not hurt. This is because they are not active appliances like braces that exert pressure over the teeth and move them. Instead, retainers sit over the teeth without exerting any pressure and ensure no unwanted tooth movement. If you’re having pain in your teeth after wearing your retainers, something is wrong. You should get your retainers checked by your dentist immediately, as they may require repair or replacement.

How Should Retainers Be Kept When One Is Not Wearing Them?

Typically, retainers must be worn throughout the day, or as instructed by the dentist. However, in case you have to remove your retainers, such as for eating or brushing, you should always keep them in clean water. You may also keep your retainers in a denture-cleaning solution. However, one must ensure not to put the retainers in boiling water as it may de-shape them.

Does Wearing A Retainer Cause Cavities?

Wearing retainers will not cause tooth cavities if one maintains optimal oral hygiene. Problems can arise when regular brushing and flossing is ignored. This can lead to food impaction inside the retainers and increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. So, you don’t have to worry about dental cavities with your retainers as long as you’re maintaining optimal oral health. Washing your retainer in lukewarm water or a denture cleaning solution is another good idea to prevent tooth decay.

Will Invisalign Treatment Damage The Gums?

Invisalign aligners are made of a flexible polymer that makes them quite comfortable to wear. Furthermore, these aligners do not extend over the gums. Hence, they will not irritate the gums. Despite this, one may have gum inflammation with Invisalign aligners if they don’t maintain optimal oral hygiene or fail to wash their aligners before wearing them after a meal. This can promote plaque and tartar deposition around the teeth and increase the risk of gum disease. So, if one maintains good oral hygiene, there is minimal risk of gum disease with Invisalign aligners.

Can Dental Retainers Correct Slight Shifting?

As discussed earlier, retainers are passive appliances. This means they will not exert any pressure or force on the teeth. Instead, they will sit on your teeth and prevent them from moving. So, retainers do not align the teeth. However, technically it is possible to use retainers to correct slight tooth shifting. This is called “activating” the aligners, meaning that they will be adjusted so that they generate forces and move the teeth. However, this practice is not performed routinely; retainers are used to consolidate orthodontic treatment and not for tooth alignment.

How To Know if your Retainer is Loose?

Your dentist will design your retainers to fit snugly over your teeth. If you feel that your retainers have become loose, if means that they are not doing their job, which is to prevent the movement of the teeth. In such cases, you should contact your dentist immediately so that they can re-adjust your retainers or make new ones for you.

Are Retainers Easy To Break Or Bend Out Of Shape?

There are two types of retainers; fixed and removable. While it is very difficult to bend or remove fixed retainers, removable retainers may get de-shaped or even cracked if they are dropped accidentally. But no worries; if you accidentally damage your retainers, you can get new ones made at your dentist’s office.

Are you thinking of getting braces or clear aligners to straighten your teeth? If yes, you can see how your teeth will look by requesting a free virtual smile evaluation at Ewell Orthodontics. So, what are you waiting for? Avail of this opportunity today and take a step towards the smile of your dreams!