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In my setting, a cheap and effective (since it doesn't have to be custom-fit to a person's teeth), albeit rather unpalatable dental health solution is the amorphous retainer: a blob of non-toxic putty that a person puts into their mouth chewing gum-style. It adheres to enamel and nothing else. The layer of it that adheres to enamel stays attached and hardens into a plastic-like substance, which is intended to prevent tooth damage from falls/sports accidents/what have you, while the rest of it is detached from the hardened layer with a non-toxic solvent similar in application to mouthwash. Later in the day, when a person wishes to take this thing off, or to eat, another such solvent is applied in order to separate the putty from the teeth, after which it is re-added to the main blob and reused later.

Yes, it is intended to be disgusting.

The question: within the realm of modern science, are there any substances, or, at least, any chemical/physical mechanisms by which such a thing would be possible?

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    $\begingroup$ We haven't discovered it yet. So no. We cannot answer that. $\endgroup$ Aug 9 '21 at 20:28
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    $\begingroup$ What is the purpose of this retainer? To keep your teeth from getting knocked out in sports? Why not use a normal retainer? $\endgroup$
    – causative
    Aug 9 '21 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ @causative To stop teeth from being damaged; a normal retainer has to be custom-fit, whereas this self-fits. I'll add it to OP. $\endgroup$
    – KEY_ABRADE
    Aug 10 '21 at 1:31
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    $\begingroup$ Sports where teeth can be knocked out (which also implies head injuries) should really be using helmets. Why protect the teeth when the brain is likely to be damaged by the same hits ? $\endgroup$
    – StephenG
    Aug 10 '21 at 7:17
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    $\begingroup$ @StephenG Think of it as a sports retainer. It'll probably be used with a helmet. $\endgroup$
    – KEY_ABRADE
    Aug 10 '21 at 7:41

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