Finally getting your braces off after months or years of treatment is a time for celebration. No more pressure and discomfort as your braces move your teeth. Simply wear your new Essix retainer to keep your teeth in place and everything is good, right? Unfortunately, it might not be as easy as that and, in some instances, wearing an Essix retainer can cause discomfort or even hurt to wear. But why would something designed to keep teeth in place cause discomfort? Let’s take a look at how your retainer works and what can contribute to problems.
During orthodontic treatment, braces work to slowly move your teeth into their desired alignment. During this process, supporting tissue and bone is absorbed by the body, and new tissue and bone slowly develops. When your dentist removes your braces, this new bone and tissue have not developed. Because of this, your teeth can easily shift back to their original position. This possible shift is referred to as orthodontic relapse.
This is where your retainer comes in. After your dentist removes your braces, you receive your Essix retainer. In most cases, you will be instructed to wear your retainer day and night for a few months to a full year before changing to only nighttime wear. Your retainer keeps your teeth in place while new bone and tissue grow to support your teeth.
But wearing that retainer for the first few days or weeks can cause discomfort and even mild pain. Your teeth naturally want to go back to their original position and may fight against the retainer at first. This is why it is so important to wear your retainer as directed. Within a few days, your teeth will get used to the retainer and any pain or discomfort should subside.
Forgetting to Wear Your Essix Retainer Can Cause Pain
As we mentioned above, your retainer keeps your teeth in place while new supporting tissue and bone development. When you forget to wear your retainer (especially in the first few months), your teeth can begin to shift back to their old position. When you finally remember to put your retainer back in your mouth, you may find that it fits tight or doesn’t fit at all.
If it fits, you need to wear it immediately and wear it both day and night. Unfortunately, because some shift has occurred, wearing your retainer may be painful at this point as your retainer brings your teeth back to their desired position. This pain and discomfort may last for a few days or more but should subside.
If your retainer no longer fits, do not try and force it onto your teeth. If you can’t get your retainer into place, too much shifting has occurred, and you need to see your orthodontist. They may be able to make you a new retainer or recommend treatment with braces again to fix the shift.
Having a backup retainer is always a good idea in case your primary gets lost of damaged. You can simply pop in your backup and don’t have to worry about going days without wearing a retainer! To purchase a backup retainer at a fraction of the price, visit SportingSmiles.
A Damaged Retainer Hurts!
Another cause of retainer pain occurs when your retainer becomes damaged. Small cracks in your Essix retainer can catch the tissue inside your cheek, leading to mouth sores and pain. Sharp edges can cut into your gums, leading to irritation and discomfort. If you begin experiencing this pain and discomfort when wearing your retainer, it may be time for a replacement retainer. It’s important to note that with proper care, most retainers will last for 2 years before you need a replacement.
Wearing an Essix retainer doesn’t have to hurt! At SportingSmiles, we can help you get a replacement retainer. Whether you have a damaged retainer or are simply looking for a backup retainer, we can help you get the same high-quality Essix retainer you would receive from your dentist, but at a fraction of the cost. For more information, visit SportingSmiles today.