Why Does My Orthodontic Retainer Hurt?


You have probably had pain at some point after using your orthodontic retainer. Regardless of why you’re using your orthodontic retainers, your teeth might feel stressed and even get sore for a short while. That’s normal, especially if you’re using retainers for the first time. Most retainers might feel snug when newly used, but they should rightly fit into position without causing pain. That’s why Pesh Orthodontics, Menifee thoroughly checks comfort levels before issuing new retainers to patients so that they can adjust the ones that aren’t right. 

Although braces and metals work efficiently to straighten your teeth, you eventually take them off. While it’s amazing to get rid of your braces after their job is done, the treatment is only half-solved. Alternative ways of maintaining the newly acquired straightness are important. That is where orthodontic retainers come in. 

That means braces and orthodontic retainers must work together for your teeth straightening campaign to become successful. You have to wear the orthodontic retainer to keep your teeth in their newly attained posture. If you fail to use your retainer, your teeth might fall back to their former position.  That can be a costly experience, given the amount of time and money you spent undergoing orthodontic treatments.

Your orthodontist will instruct you when, how, and for how long you will be wearing your retainer. Depending on your condition, you might have to wear your retainers every day for three months. After that, you’ll only wear them during the night. Others might have to wear their braces for over a year but only wear their retainers during nights. That way, the orthodontic retainer works to maintain your teeth in the proper position.

Your Retainer Is Faulty, Or Your Teeth Have Moved 

If your orthodontic retainer hurts when using them, there are two probable explanations. First, your retainer might be faulty. Secondly, your teeth have moved. You should check with your orthodontist immediately to find out the primary cause of pain. They will figure out the problem easily and give a proper solution.

Faulty orthodontic retainers are not common, though they may hurt during use. Although retainers are supposed to work faultlessly from the start, some often wear off at some point, and others get distorted or damaged. Even though they may work efficiently for a while, your orthodontic retainers will eventually break down due to day-to-day use. 

On the other hand, you might run into a post-treatment tooth movement. Because your aligners or braces have continuously stressed your teeth, your teeth will readjust when the plastics and wires are off. But this movement should be slight and natural. Additionally, it’s beneficial if it improves bites—also called a beneficial relaxation. But teeth movements can also occur if you skip using your orthodontics retainers. Retention practices should last for a long time since your body tends to sag or wrinkle with time—not to mention your teeth and jaws. If that happens, your retainers will not fit properly, making them uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, other movements can be extreme (also called a relapse). While orthodontic retainers primarily work to minimize relapses, they typically allow beneficial relaxation. Your retainers will mostly realign your teeth if they don’t move too much. But sometimes, the movement can be too much for retainers to restore, making them uncomfortable to hurting levels when using. Even slight teeth movements can have a negative impact. Either way, you need an expert intervention who might suggest alternative treatments, especially if you’re unsatisfied with your teeth’ looks or feelings.

New Retainers Are Likely To Hurt

If it’s your first time or you are shifting to new retainers, you’re likely to feel uncomfortable. New retainers can feel tight and painful. However, this is often a normal experience and should settle after the first few days. Over-the-counter pain medication can help to reduce pain. Afterward, your teeth should naturally adapt to the pressure while the pain continually subsides.

If the case is extreme, it fails to go down after a few days; seek help from your orthodontist immediately. They will offer a viable solution. They may decide to replace your retainer or use an alternative treatment.

You’re Not Using Your Retainer

Once you remove your braces, new tissues that are supposed to hold your teeth in their newly found position are yet to develop fully. Your retainers keep your teeth in their current place as these tissues grow until they attain a permanent position. During this time, it’s essential to continually wear your retainers, with few exceptions during meal times. Failure to do this means your teeth may shift from their position, making retainers unfit for use. That means they are going to hurt at some point moving forward. When this happens, consult your orthodontist immediately.

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