The Difference Between Cheek Retractors and Mouth Props

mouth props

Dental procedures can seem overly complicated when we lack the knowledge of procedures and tools. There are so many unique tools and treatments done to our teeth to keep them happy and clean! For example, have you ever wondered how dentists get easy access to your teeth during various treatments? Enter the world of cheek retractors and mouth props! In this article, we'll take a look at what they are, how they differ, and why they are essential. This will give you a glimpse of the dental world to give you a better understanding of how regular dental procedures work!

What are Cheek Retractors?

Cheek retractors are dental tools used to hold the flesh of the cheeks away from the teeth during various dental procedures. This separation allows the dentist to have a clear and unobstructed view of the teeth and mouth's interior. Cheek retractors are often used in dental examinations, orthodontic treatments, and teeth whitening procedures. They are also very crucial while taking photos of your teeth to check for progress. Cheek retractors are designed to fit comfortably around the cheeks and come in various shapes and sizes to suit different patients.

What are Mouth Props?

Mouth props are devices used to keep a patient's mouth open during dental treatments. Unlike cheek retractors, which focus on moving the cheeks, mouth props are designed to rest between the upper and lower jaw, maintaining the mouth in an open position. This assists the dentist by allowing continuous access to the mouth without requiring the patient to keep their mouth open, thereby preventing fatigue in the jaw muscles. Mouth props are typically used in longer procedures where the patient's mouth must remain open for an extended period.

Difference Between Cheek Retractors and Mouth Props

So cheek retractors and mouth props might seem similar, but they serve different roles. Let's break down the differences:

1. Purpose

Cheek retractors are used to pull the cheeks away, providing a clear view of the teeth. Mouth props, on the other hand, keep the mouth open.

2. Design

Cheek retractors are typically shaped to fit around the cheeks, while mouth props are designed to rest between the upper and lower jaw.

3. Use in Procedures

While both tools are common in dental treatments, cheek retractors are more often used in cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening. Mouth props are typically used in longer procedures where the patient's mouth needs to remain open.

4. Comfort

Cheek retractors are generally more comfortable for short-term use, whereas mouth props are designed for long-term comfort during extended procedures.

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After this step, all you need to do is wear your aligners religiously and keep in touch with our experts virtually. You will have to use our very own cheek retractor, grinny, to take clear photos of your teeth to make note of your progress!


Understanding the difference between cheek retractors and mouth props can take the mystery out of your dental visits. These tools, although different in design and purpose, play a crucial role in making dental treatments more accessible and comfortable. So next time you're in the dental chair, you'll know what's going on. And remember, if you're looking for quality dental care products and smile correction solutions, makeO toothsi has you covered!


Are cheek retractors and mouth props the same?

No, cheek retractors are specifically designed to pull the cheeks away from the teeth, while mouth retractors (or mouth props) are used to keep the mouth open during a procedure. Cheek retractors are mainly used for photographing the teeth and in teeth whitening, whereas a mouth prop can be used in all kinds of dental procedures.

Can I buy mouth props for home use?

It's not advisable to use mouth props without professional guidance, as improper usage might cause discomfort or injury. Mouth props are only suitable to be used in a dental clinic, under the supervision of an expert.

What are the common procedures using cheek retractor dental tools?

They are typically used in teeth whitening, orthodontics, and dental examinations. Dental imaging is another occasion where cheek retractors are used.

How do I choose between cheek retractors and mouth props?

You don't have to choose between either dental tool since they are different tools used for different procedures. Only your dentist is qualified to decide which tool is appropriate for your specific treatment.

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