What dental problems are retainers used to correct?

Dustin S. Burleson, DDS
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Wearing a retainer after having braces removed is just one of the ways retainers are used. During this route, the retainer is typically worn each day for a period of six months, then the person will wear it to bed at night for a while. This effort just helps to ensure that the new tooth placement is retained.

There are other conditions that call for a retainer as part of corrective treatment as well. Some of those conditions include:
  • To close any gaps that may be in the bite
  • To help correct speech problems
  • Tongue thrust, where the tongue goes between the teeth when talking
  • Bruxism, which is the grinding of the teeth while sleeping

There are a variety of conditions that may call for a treatment plan that requires a retainer. Working with an orthodontist is the best way to determine if one can help with a particular condition and how long one would have to be worn, as the time varies depending on the severity of the problem being treated.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.