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Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine recently surveyed hundreds of dentists and orthodontic patients to discover common trends in retainer prescription and use.
According to the poll's results, a total of 58 percent of dentists provided their patients with removable retainers, while 40 percent performed procedures to affix permanent versions of the devices to their patients' teeth.
The majority of responses from dentists indicated that they recommend full-time retainer use for nine months after an individual has his or her braces removed. The tools should also be worn intermittently throughout life to ensure that a person's teeth have not shifted, according to the results.
Despite these instructions from dentists, the researchers found that 4 percent of patients with retainers never wore them. The findings also showed that 69 percent of prescribed users wore the corrective devices at night, while 60 percent kept the retainers in their mouths for at least 10 hours during the day.
The investigators said they were optimistic about retainer compliance and effectiveness, since many of the surveyed individuals answered that they continued to use the same apparatus two years after their initial fittings. This suggests that the patients' teeth did not return to a misaligned state.
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