Dental Retainer

Dental retainer helps prevent teeth relapse after orthodontic treatment and is of two types, namely temporary and permanent. Temporary retainers include Hawleys and clear plastic retainers, and these can be easily removed, cleaned, and placed back by the patient itself. Permanent retainers consist of a braided wire cemented to the lingual or palatal aspect of the front tooth.

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Can I wear a retainer that I have not worn for three years?

Query: Hello doctor, I have not worn my retainer for three years because I missed my appointment, and now they threw it away. My teeth have shifted, but I still have a straight smile. However, I am concerned about how my bite will change in the long run. Once, the doctor offered an option that he would mol...  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I read your query and can understand your concern. Retainers after orthodontic treatment are an essential part of therapy as they maintain and hold on to the changes achieved by the treatment. In addition, they prevent the teeth and other surrounding tissues from re...  Read Full »

I did not wear a retainer after the completion of my orthodontic treatment. Will it cause a gap formation between my teeth?

Query: Hello doctor, Four years ago, I got my teeth straight from a dental clinic using some braces. At the end of the treatment, they asked me to wear some teeth clips so that there would not be any gap formation. But as I have not followed it well there are some gaps in my teeth. So I want to know if th...  Read Full »

Dr. Ummah Mohammad

Answer: Hello, Welcome to You should have followed your dentist's advice and used retainers a little longer to avoid the relapse you are going through now. For now, I suggest you make an appointment with the same dentist if possible and ask if the relapse can be managed with the help of remov...  Read Full »

Should I wear retainers every night to avoid the relapse of my orthodontic treatment?

Query: Hello doctor, My orthodontist has recommended I wear my retainer every few nights. However, it has been about a year since I have worn my retainer. Recently I tried wearing it, it fits, but it is very tight. How often do I need to wear it, and how long will it take for my teeth to move back so the r...  Read Full »

Dr. Gaurav Kumar Pandey

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I went through your query and understood your concern. After orthodontic treatment, the dentist gives you a retainer to avoid the chances of relapse. Relapse is the tendency of the teeth to return to their pre-treatment position. This commonly occurs in the lower front...  Read Full »

I had braces for eight years and was not given any retainers after my treatment due to implant placement and the bad condition of my bottom teeth. Kindly help.

Query: Hello doctor,I had braces for eight years. I was missing the tooth next to my front teeth on both sides. So once my braces were removed, I had implants done. I was not given any retainers. I was told I would not need them due to my implants and because my bottom teeth were bad. My bottom teeth are w...  Read Full »

Dr. Muzaffer Hussain Parray

Answer: Hello, Welcome back to Yes, it would have affected your implant, but there is no problem using permanent retainers for the lower teeth if you had given consent. Please upload a picture of your teeth so that I may know if you need an orthodontic appliance or a simple Howley appliance. ...  Read Full »

Can removing retainer for one week after 9.5 years of braces removal cause teeth shifting?

Query: Hello doctor, I lost my retainer and need to get a new one. This will be a week without a retainer. I got my braces removed nine and a half years ago and have worn the retainer every night. I would have missed it once in a blue moon. What are the chances of my teeth shifting even if it is a little? ...  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Thank you for your query. Retainers are considered an important part of orthodontic therapy as they hold or retain the teeth in the corrected positions after the treatment. In the meantime, the jaw bone and surrounding tissues get mature enough to hold the teeth the...  Read Full »

I had loose teeth while removing the braces, preventing me from wearing Invisalign. What can be done to restore my teeth' alignment?

Query: Hello doctor, I had braces before, and the doctor gave me an Invisalign to wear at night when he took off my braces. However, while taking off the braces from my lower front teeth, my three lower front teeth were loose, and since then, I have had a problem eating food or wearing an Invisalign, as ...  Read Full »

Dr. Naveen Thomas

Answer: Hello, Welcome to You should have worn your clear retainers (they are not Invisalign) for around two years at least so that the teeth can get strong at the correct position. Then, in your current condition, you can go for Invisalign therapy to correct those minor rotations of the fr...  Read Full »

I have been using a retainer for years, but my new retainer does not reach my gums. Will it be effective in keeping my teeth straight?

Query: Hello doctor, I had braces ten years ago. I have been using a retainer after my treatment. Recently I got a new retainer from a dentist, but it does not reach my gums. Will this still be effective at keeping my teeth straight?Thank you.  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hello,Welcome to on your treatment history, your teeth would have settled by now in post-orthodontic changes. After completing treatment, it takes approximately 10 to 12 months for your oral cavity to adjust to new positions and for any changes to come into the best-settled positio...  Read Full »

Why did my retainers develop a black-mold like discoloration?

Query: Hello doctor, I underwent braces treatment two years back. Permanent retainers were fixed on my upper and lower teeth. I just found a black mold-like discoloration on my removable retainers. Can it be saved? Or should it be replaced immediately? Please help.  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hi,Welcome to understand your concern.The main purpose of retainers is to hold the tooth in position after the completion of the braces treatment. The jaw bone is immature after orthodontic treatment, and it takes approximately one year for the bone to mature and hold the teeth. Hence,...  Read Full »

My teeth shifted as I discontinued wearing the retainer. How long will it take for the teeth to realign if I start the treatment again?

Query: Hello doctor, My teeth shifted after braces, and I accidentally lost my retainer at work and could not afford a new one then. My last orthodontic treatment left gaps, crooked teeth, and crossbites. How severe is my case, and how long treatment will I need again? I am attaching pictures of my teeth. ...  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Retainers are an important part of orthodontic treatment as they hold the teeth in the corrected position until the bone beneath gets matured enough and does not allow them to return to previous positions. This process takes about 10 to 11 months, so it is advised to...  Read Full »

I have been given a nighttime retainer after over a year of Invisalign treatment. My teeth hurt when I wear them at night. Why?

Query: Hi doctor, I have been wearing Invisalign for a little over a year and a half. I have always had a big gap, and I made it clear I want to keep my gap but make it smaller. Since ending treatment, I have been given a night retainer. However, during the day, my teeth shift and putting the retainer back...  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Hope you are doing well. I thoroughly read your query and understand your concern. In orthodontic therapy, there are two phases, first is the active phase, wherein all the tooth movements are done, and alignment is achieved based on case requirements. Second is ret...  Read Full »

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