Cheek Retractors: Avoid these 4 Mistakes While Wearing Dental Retractors

mouth retractors | makeO

A cheek retractor may look scary or confusing but in reality it is an entirely uncomplicated tool. Used to take clear dental images, a cheek retractor is worn when you are about to either show a dental professional the state of your teeth or their progress.

What are cheek retractors?

A cheek retractor is an essential tool used widely in oral surgeries and dentistry to keep the soft tissue away from the teeth. With the help of a mouth retractor, the lips and cheeks of a patient are moved away to give a clear and unobstructed view of the teeth and the oral cavity. From dental examinations, restorative procedures, teeth cleaning and more to orthodontic treatments and oral surgeries, these mouth retractors are instrumental in starting all of these procedures!

4 Common mistakes to avoid when using cheek retractors

While a mouth retractor is simple enough to use by professionals and regular people alike, here are some common mistakes that you should look to avoid:

1. Applying excessive force

The worst thing to do with dental retractors is to use excessive outward force while placing them in your mouth. This extreme force can cause pain, discomfort, and damage to your mouth too. So make sure to place your dental cheek retractors gently into your mouth to avoid such issues.

2. Incorrect placement

The function of the retractor is to bring professionals more visibility to your teeth and your mouth. If you fail to place the retractor correctly, you will hamper the view of your teeth and your oral cavity which can cause issues with your oral procedures. So ensure that you are carefully placing your mouth retractors and they are not blocking the view!

3. Ignoring comfort

Always remember that your comfort is a priority. So if you are visiting a dental clinic and getting dental retractors placed in your mouth or you are placing them in yourself, remember to prioritise your comfort and wear them in a manner that is not uncomfortable for you!

4. Not controlling saliva

It is a fact that using a retractor can cause saliva to pool in your mouth. So if you are using a retractor for a while, make sure to find ways to remove saliva to ensure a comfortable time. And if you are undergoing a surgery, your professionals will have a dental dam or a saliva ejector to keep you comfortable too.

How to use a cheek retractor correctly?

  • Ensure that you choose a cheek retractor that is your size.
  • Relax and breathe normally before placing the retractor.
  • Remember to bend the retractor a few times.
  • Then place the outer, bigger side inside the mouth carefully with gentle hands and widen it once comfortable to fit correctly.
  • Check to see whether the lip and cheek retractors are placed correctly or if they obstruct any view.

About makeO toothsi's grinny

When you choose makeO toothsi for your clear aligner journey, you choose comfort, ease and a smooth journey to a perfect smile. This involves the user to take a few steps using our instruction manual and our tools. First, you begin with a 3D scan of your entire jaw after which you receive a virtual treatment plan and your aligners. Now, with your custom clear aligners, you will also need a plastic cheek retractor, or toothsi grinny.

Toothsi grinny is essential in taking photos of your teeth and mapping its progress regularly. As toothsi offers virtual monitoring from experts, they will ask you for photos as you continue to wear your aligners. For our experts to get a clear understanding of how your teeth are doing, you will have to take photos of your teeth without the soft tissues present! This is where our comfortable, bendy and plastic toothsi grinny comes in! Simply bend it a few times before gently placing its bigger sides into your mouth and you are camera ready!

To conclude, lip and cheek retractors are an important tool for dental procedures and oral surgeries as they help separate the teeth and oral cavity from the soft tissue in the mouth. Some common mistakes to avoid while using these would be to prioritise comfort, avoid excess force, incorrect placement among others.


Are cheek retractors uncomfortable?

Metal cheek retractors are a bit more uncomfortable than plastic ones. However, retractors when placed correctly and without excessive pressure can be comfortable and painless.

What is the function of the cheek retractor?

A cheek retractor is an instrument used to keep the soft tissues like the lips away from the teeth so that dental professionals can clearly see your teeth and jaw.

What are some mouth retractor uses?

A cheek retractor is used to move the lips out of the view and ensure that the doctor can see the teeth and the mouth without obstruction. This device is generally used in various kinds of dental procedures, checks, and many oral surgeries too.

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