Oral Health Link to Whole Body Health: A Blog

Oral Health Link to Whole Body Health: A Blog

No Pain, No Retain! Does It Hurt to Wear an Orthodontic Retainer?

Duane Kelly

By the time the day comes when you can finally have your braces removed, you will have grown used to wearing them--and all the responsibilities as well as pain that came with them. But when they come off, your orthodontic journey does not end there. To ensure that your teeth do not shift back into their former positions as is their natural inclination, you'll need to wear a retainer to hold them in place.

However, after going through the pain that is often part and parcel of wearing braces, you are probably wondering if there is more pain to come while wearing your retainer. Unfortunately, when you first begin wearing your new retainer, you will likely experience some pain. The good news is the pain should be nothing compared to what you experienced while wearing braces.

Retainers Hold Teeth, Not Push or Pull Teeth

One of the reasons braces can be quite painful is that they are designed to gradually push teeth through bone. However, unlike braces, retainers simply hold teeth in place and are especially important during the first 12 months when the bone around your teeth is solidifying. This is why retainer pain is nothing compared to the pain of braces.

All Types of Retainer Cause Pain at First

Whether you choose to wear a Hawley retainer, a clear removable retainer, or a lingual retainer, at first, you will likely experience some pain. However, this pain should pass within a day or two at the most and is simply down to your teeth adjusting to the newly applied force of the retainer.

The pain should also be minimal. If the pain is so severe that it becomes unbearable, then you should see your orthodontist immediately. They may need to fashion a new retainer or adjust the current one.

Lingual Retainers May Irritate Your Tongue

The human tongue has a habit of being drawn to things that shouldn't normally be in your mouth, such as ulcers, broken teeth, and retainers. Because lingual retainers sit on the back of teeth, your tongue may at first become irritated. This will pass in a few days but you can put some orthodontic wax on the lingual wire to allow your tongue the time it needs to heal.

If there are any rough areas, which there shouldn't be, ask your orthodontist to polish them off.

Although you will experience a little pain at first, as long as you wear your retainer--if it is of the removable kind, i.e. a Hawley retainer or Essix retainer--when you should, the pain should fade quickly. Keep in mind that if you don't wear your retainer at the times recommended by your orthodontist, you will experience pain every time you put your retainers back in because your teeth will need to readjust.

Wear your retainers when you should and you can keep your newly straightened smile pain-free! For more information, contact a dentist.


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About Me
Oral Health Link to Whole Body Health: A Blog

You may have heard that cavities and oral decay are linked to things like heart disease, and, in fact, your oral health affects your entire body. Hi! My name is Brenda, and I like to look at things holistically. Because of that, I created this blog. I plan for its posts to look at the link between dental issues and other health issues. I hope that the people who visit this blog learn a few tips about oral care as well as gaining a deeper understanding of why it's so important. Healthy smiles indicate a healthy body, and I hope this blog helps you achieve both!