You may find that your retainer is no longer fitting properly after some time. If this happens to you, you have worn your retainer in an irregular manner (or even not worn it at all), causing it to become deformed or misshapen.

In most cases, the retainer will not fit anymore because it has been somehow distorted. Overheating can indirectly warp your retainer, making it impossible to fit. You can easily distort your retainer’s shape with hot water. You may also have a warped retainer if you dropped or stepped on it, bent the wire, or tore the plastic. For any reason, it would be best to contact Patuxent Orthodontics about getting your retainers replaced.

What Happens if I Do Not Wear My Retainers?

In the same way that wearing your retainer can shift your teeth, failing to wear it can cause unwanted changes in your bite.

In addition to straightening your teeth, your retainers help correct your bite. In the absence of retainers, your bite will shift back, leading to discomfort when biting down. Retainers are worn immediately after orthodontic treatment in order to hold the teeth in place during the period when the surrounding bones rebuild and stabilize. 

This phase is vital for keeping teeth straight in the long run. Without the retainer, your teeth will shift, so if you don’t wear your retainer, you may need a new pair of retainers or even have to get braces all over again.

What Are the Signs That My Retainer No Longer Fits?

Your retainers may no longer fit for the following four reasons:

#1: Your Retainer Exhibits Cracks

When you see cracks in your retainer plastic, you should replace it immediately. Otherwise, the cracks will grow larger, and your retainer will not be able to hold your teeth in place.

#2: Your Retainer Feels Loose

When your retainer feels loose, it’s time to replace it. Retainers that are worn for a long time become increasingly unfitting. As a result, you may not be able to maintain the placement of your teeth. The timing of retainer replacement is crucial because your teeth will shift back into their original positions unless you take action.

#3: Your Retainer Doesn’t Fit Anymore

After not wearing your retainer for a long time, you are more likely to feel pain when you put it back on. The fact that you aren’t wearing your retainer as often doesn’t necessarily mean it’s broken; it just means that you should do so more often. Otherwise, you may have to go back to braces.

The shape of retainers deteriorates over time. In addition to dishwashers and boiling water, you might experience this problem with other cleaning methods. If the retainer no longer feels comfortable, please let us know.

#4: Your Retainer Shows Calcium Buildup

As time passes, you will notice calcium buildup on your retainer, such as white spots due to excess saliva on your retainer. You must properly clean and maintain cleanliness while using your retainer To prevent these white spots from appearing. It is recommended that you clean your retainer every time you remove it from your mouth. The debris on the retainer will harden and become increasingly difficult to remove over time. 

For brushing your retainer, you can use either a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild dish soap or just water. You should never use anything abrasive to clean your retainer, including toothpaste.

When Your Retainer Doesn’t Fit, Is It Bad to Wear It?

It is not recommended to wear a retainer if you have to force it in place. When a retainer does not fit, forcing it into place can damage your teeth or the retainer.

You should wear your retainer until your teeth are comfortable again, even if they have shifted due to irregular wear. Retainers should only be removed while brushing, eating, or drinking. It is common to feel some sensitivity in your teeth for a few days after getting your retainer. However, it will fade, and you will become more comfortable with it. At that point, you can wear your retainer only at nighttime.

A loose retainer can also result in damaged teeth, in addition to misshapen or damaged ones. You cannot keep your teeth from shifting with loose retainers since they lack the necessary force. 

How Can You Make Your Retainer Fit Again?

If you have stopped wearing your retainer for a long time, don’t start wearing it right away. If you try to force your retainer into place, you may hurt yourself since your teeth have already started moving back toward their original positions. You shouldn’t have to force your retainer on your teeth. If you do, then it’s probably not a suitable fit anymore. You’ll most likely have to get a new one.

How Long Should Retainers Last?

Orthodontic patients, in general, will need a new retainer every 12 months due to normal wear and tear, but it will all come down to how you care for them.

Can Retainers Be Adjusted?

It is possible to adjust braces, but not retainers. If your retainers no longer fit and you need to change them, it’s best to schedule a consultation at Patuxent Orthodontics.

We encourage current orthodontic patients whose retainers don’t fit to visit our office immediately. Let us help you choose a retainer that matches your teeth and fits comfortably. A poorly fitting retainer can cause severe damage to your teeth, so it is vital to act quickly.


Choose Patuxent Orthodontics for Your Orthodontic Treatment!

Many reasons can lead to your retainers no longer fitting, and most of these may be caused by you forgetting to put them on immediately or losing them for a while. No matter what, don’t force your retainers into your teeth; you’ll only end up hurting yourself. 
Instead, if your retainers are no longer fitting, please contact us directly. We’ll be happy to assist you! Our friendly office in Hollywood, MD, offers free, easy consultations, so contact us today! Also, we invite you to follow our blog for answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health!