Common "Dental Retainer" queries answered by top doctors | iCliniq

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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Is it okay not to wear retainers for a few weeks?

Query: Hi doctor, I just left for a two-and-a-half-week vacation and realized I forgot my retainer at my home. Will my teeth shift drastically in that time, and is it fine to wear my retainer when I get back? I have had my braces off for almost five years and usually wear my retainer every night. Kindly he...  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I understand your concern. After that, we generally taper down the retainer, and the patient can stop using it after one and a half years to one year and nine months. However, this does not apply to all cases. For example, certain cases require longer retainers; some mi...  Read Full »

I experience a relapse after retainer removal. What to do?

Query: Hello doctor, I am 53 years old. I had my permanent retainers removed six months ago, after 26 years. My lower front teeth are flaring out. They are hitting the back of my upper front teeth. I am a tongue thruster. Can I have these teeth that had the retainer removed, rebraced, and another permanent...  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I read your query and can understand your concern. Yes, you can get the particular segment of teeth re-braced and later a permanent retainer. However, you can also have other options to consider before deciding on the treatment option. Before that, we should initiall...  Read Full »

How long will it take for the teeth to realign if I start the treatment?

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 w...  Read Full »

I stopped wearing a retainer and my teeth shifted back. Help.

Query: Hello doctor,I had worn braces for over three years and was given a retainer after that. I have not worn the retainer for a while, and two of my bottom front teeth have moved. Will they move back to the place if I wear the retainer again? Kindly advise.  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I understand your concern. Retainers are one of the most important phases of orthodontic treatment. They help hold on to the changes done during the treatment and do not allow the teeth to go back into their previous positions. It takes about a year for the tissues t...  Read Full »

I am told that RCT can hinder braces treatment. Is it so?

Query: Hello doctor, I have misaligned teeth as I had not used a retainer after using braces 16 years ago. Yesterday, the orthodontist informed me that I am not a selective patient for braces because of some root canal treatments I had. I have been told that it may shorten the roots of teeth. I have had th...  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Thanks for writing in, and I understand your concern. Braces treatment may cause root resorption that shortens roots but does not occur in all cases. In my opinion, root resorption can reverse and resolve over time if detected early, and not all cases show the shorte...  Read Full »

My teeth hurt while placing the teeth retainer back at night.

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 retai...  Read Full »

Are plastic retainers bad due to exposure and leaching of chemicals?

Query: Hello doctor, I have been wearing a plastic retainer each night for roughly ten years. I worry about the long-term health effects of plastics leaching chemicals and microplastics. I wonder if a removable silver or gold grill would do a similar job as a plastic retainer without the potential exposure...  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Greetings of the day. I hope you are doing well. Wearing the same plastic retainer for ten years is a long time. You are spot on with your concern regarding the effects of retainers. All your worries regarding the leaching of chemicals and degradation of materials are...  Read Full »

New retainer does not touch gums. Will it straighten teeth

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 Based 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 posi...  Read Full »

Please advise me on the best permanent retainer.

Query: Hi doctor, I have been on braces for front teeth alignment for almost an year. It will probably be removed in two months so I would need a permanent retainer. So please let me know the price range for the same, both in private and government hospitals.  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I understand your concern. Retainers are a crucial phase of orthodontics treatment. It holds on to all the changes achieved during the treatment till the bone matures enough. Initial one year after active orthodontics treatment is critical. Retainers can be permanent...  Read Full »

If I were to remove the braces without using a retainer, what would be the outcome?

Query: Hi doctor,I have been wearing metal braces for ten months with the intention of undergoing surgery to correct my underbite and crossbite. However, my insurance did not cover the surgery, worsening my bite and negative changes in my facial features. These changes include a narrower face, a pointy chi...  Read Full »

Dr. Mayank Khandelwal

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I have read your query and understood your concern. I am sorry to hear about the negative experience regarding the outcome of your orthognathic surgery. There is a very slim chance that you will regain your old facial features after completing your orthodontic treatment a...  Read Full »

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