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FAQ:  Retainers


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  • Retainer Pain: I had come back from the dentist 5 days ago for a retainer tightening. My teeth were fine, then about 3 days ago I felt pain on my bottom right back teeth. The pain comes and goes but every morning my teeth hurt alot and I can't wear my retainers. My gums are swollen and it's hard for me to eat and sleep. What do I do? ... Visitor from UK     (answer)

  • I just got a spring retainer to align 3 slightly turned teeth on the top (front teeth). I am now only days later experiencing a change in my bite. It feels like the back teeth, top and bottom, no longer line up as well. I am also having jaw pain and chewing feels uncomfortable. Could the retainer be changing my bite? This was not the objective. I have no retainer for the bottom as it was not ever mentioned as necessary. ... Visitor from Austin     (answer)

  • One of my lateral incisors has moved back slightly from the rest. The tooth is floating as it doesn't touch my bottom teeth when I bite. My dentist has recommended a removable retainer with a spring behind the lateral incisor to push it forward. I am 36 years old. Roughly how long will it take to move this one tooth forward a couple of millimeters in line with the rest? ... Visitor from UK     (answer)

  • Retainer Hygiene: I have had my braces off now for about 5 years. My teeth look great. I wear retainers at night faithfully while I am asleep. I have noticed that my retainers have changed colors from clear to almost light brown. I am not a smoker or drinker. Is there any product or home remedy that would bring the original color back to the retainers? ... Visitor from IN     (answer)

  • Retainer and implant: I am in need of an implant on my back molar due to a bad root canal done 6 years ago. I am also waiting for a new retainer, since mine broke, to help with a slight overbite. Will I still be able to fix my overbite even with an implant? Also, if I wanted to get braces down the road if the retainer doesn't work, would this prevent it if the implant is on my molar? ... Visitor from IL     (answer)

  • I haven't worn my retainers for a couple months and then put them in. Now my teeth really hurt and my gums are bleeding and have swelled up a little. What do I do? ... Visitor from United Kingdom     (answer)

  • Permanent Retainers vs. removable: I'm 53 and had braces back in 1998-99. I've had a permanent retainer on both upper and lower all these years and wear a nighttime retainer also. Is it still necessary to have the permanent retainers? They've come off frequently over the years (at least once a year) and must be replaced at $75 each. Can I have them removed permanently and wear the nighttime retainer only? ... Visitor from CO     (answer)

  • I have not worn my retainers for five years. I had braces on for 2 years to fix an overbite generated by years of sucking my thumb when I was younger. My teeth have moved but not to the extent of people noticing. But I want to return to my orginal perfection. So what do I do and should I get braces once again for a shorter period to fix the gap? ... Visitor from WA     (answer)

  • I have not worn my retainers for over three years. Just recently, I noticed my upper teeth has moved a lot. Should I wear my retainer again even though it's been so long? What should I do now that my teeth have moved? ... Visitor from KS     (answer)

  • I am 17 and I have had my braces off for some time now, maybe a year or two. At first I wore my retainers at night... but after a while I did stop. Well, I have noticed some movement and can still sorta get the retainer on, but just after an hour or so of wearing it my teeth become wiggly. Is it OK to continue to wear the original retainer, or go get a new one? ... Visitor from MA     (answer)

  • Teeth gaps: My friend had a gap and when he got retainers, the ones which can't be removed, like 8 months ago, we asked why he didn't have braces. Today he still wears it but his gap is gone. I wanna know what type of retainer this is called and will this work for me (age 13). Also are they just as good as braces? With that said and having a gap that is tooth pick wide, will I get those fast results? ... Visitor from NY     (answer)

  • Retainer versus Mouth Guard: I was provided a metal and plastic removable retainer seven years ago, by an orthodontist. He said I grind and wear down my teeth (he did a veneer on the back of my front teeth). I was told I should have worn braces but my dentist at the time had not prescribed this. I moved to another country recently, and my dentist (who is not an orthodontist) suggested I stop using the retainer and use a mouth guard instead. This was two months ago, and I have since noticed wear on the back of my front teeth - again. The dentist insists that all I need is a thicker mouth guard. I know you cannot check my teeth but what is your opinion? ... Visitor from Dubai United Arab Emirates     (answer)

  • Lost Retainer causes Crooked Teeth again: When I was 10 years old I got braces. My teeth had many problems including over crowding and other things too. I had these braces until I was 12 years old and then I got them off. From the time I was 13-15 years old I got a retainer and that worked out maybe except for losing it when I was 15. Of late I have noticed in probably 3-4 years my teeth have turned crooked. My two front teeth have overlaped each other and the two teeth next the two front teeth to it are pointing in towards it. What should I do to get it from being crooked and what type of work would get them back to the way they were before? ... Visitor from TN     (answer)

  • Permanent: My orthodontist told me I can't get a permanent retainer on my lower teeth because one of my teeth is a crown. Is that true or should I try another orthodontist? ... Visitor from NY     (answer)

  • Retainer still in place 14 years later: When I was 18 I had full upper and lower braces removed and a bonded retainer fixed to the lower teeth. I was told it would be removed 12 months later. I moved city in that time and when we phoned the dentist to ask what to do about the retainer, he said not to worry, it would eventually fall off. Over the years, I have been to different dentists and none of them want to remove it - I am now 32 (!) and it is still fixed solidly. What can I do? Will it even be safe to get it removed now? And why does everyone keep telling me it will fall off when 14 years later, it obviously won't! I'm really worried about this. I can't floss between those teeth, although things are fine for now ... Visitor from London England United Kingdom UK     (answer)

  • Bleeding: I have been wearing a plastic retainer for nearly 2 years. I usually wear it at night and I tend to grind my teeth whenever I wear it. When I wake up and remove the retainer, I have noticed that my gums bleed and/or become sore. I noticed when I wore my braces that I did tend to grind my teeth a lot. I think that when I grind my teeth the plastic rubs up against my gums and cuts it causing them to bleed. For this reason, I stopped wearing my retainer for a few months. However, I noticed that my teeth started to shift again making my gap reappear so I began wearing the retainer only at the top again as a result. Is there anything that I can do to help prevent my gums from bleeding? ... Visitor from TX     (answer)

  • Repair: Is there a glue out there to fix a cracked retainer? ... Visitor from IL     (answer)

  • Permanent: My daughter is age 14. She got her braces off about 6 months ago and is wearing a retainer with a fake tooth attached because she is missing a tooth and cannot have an implant until age 17 or 18. Is there a way to keep her teeth in place with a fake tooth that doesn't have a wire across her front teeth that can be seen? ... Visitor from FL     (answer)

  • Fixed: I am 28 and had my braces off 6 months ago. I had the braces on for 3 years. I wore a Hawley Retainer full time, only taking it off to brush. After 6 weeks, my top teeth moved and I now have the brace back on. My orthodontist is not sure why this happened. I am worried about this happening again so I am wondering if a fixed retainer is best. Do you know if this would be a better option? My bottom teeth have also moved with the Hawley retainer on - do you have any idea why? ... Visitor from Manchester UK     (answer)

  • Permanent: My daughter will have her braces removed in a few weeks. Her orthodontist said only the bottom teeth can get a permenant retainer, not the top. He claims that a top retainer will cause the teeth not to align. I know people who have the top and not the bottom. What is the proper or correct orthodontic procedure for this? ... Visitor from IL     (answer)

  • After Braces: I'm a girl and in my early twenties and I have a question about retainers. Can retainers complete the job of the braces after the braces are taken off? Can they tighten the gaps between teeth or do any minor changes to the overbite? Or do they just maintain the new position of the teeth and that's all? ... Visitor from London England United Kingdom     (answer)

  • For the past two weeks or so, I have had a throbbing pain in the upper area of my top left gums. The tooth nearest to the pain is my second molar (I'm 20, but haven't gotten my wisdom teeth yet). This pain actually switches between the aforementioned area to my front bottom teeth. When the pain is in my bottom teeth, it feels as if my teeth are moving (the main tooth that hurts actually has moved slightly backwards). It actually feels exactly how my teeth felt when my braces were tightened when I was a kid. Because of this movement, I started to wear my retainer again, but it didn't fit exactly right. It seems to have caused a hole or chip in my second molar. Is this possible? ... Visitor from MO     (answer)

  • Retainers and whitening: I am scheduled to have my braces removed in a couple of months. My orthodontist suggested a permanent retainer on my lower teeth. My question is if I plan to have my teeth whitened will the retainer interfere with the whitening process? ... Visitor from IL     (answer)




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