How To Know If Your Retainer Doesn’t Fit

Anybody who has ever had braces will be familiar with retainers. These pieces of plastic are essential in ensuring that all the hard work that your braces did is not reversed, and they are an incredibly important part of orthodontic care.

How To Know If Your Retainer Doesn’t Fit

Without your retainer, your teeth will return to the way that they were before you had braces.

In order for your retainer to do its job, it has to fit your mouth perfectly. When you first put your retainers in, you will likely notice that they feel tight, and can almost make you feel claustrophobic.

But, once you have worn them for a little while, you will get used to them. 

After you have acclimatised to the feeling of your retainers, you will be able to tell when something doesn’t feel right, and you will usually be able to tell if they don’t fit too well.

But, if you are new to having retainers, check out this guide to find out how to know if your retainer doesn’t fit.

What Is A Retainer?

First things first, let’s take a look at what a retainer is. As we have mentioned, retainers are made of plastic, and they are fitted to the shape of your mouth.

When you have your braces removed at the end of orthodontic treatment, a mold will be taken off the inside of your mouth. This mold is then used to create a plastic retainer for your teeth and gums. 

Retainers are an essential part of orthodontic treatment, and without them your teeth will return to the way that they were before treatment began.

Most of the time, you will be required to wear your retainers during the night time for the rest of your life. 

During the first year after treatment, it is recommended that you wear your retainers every night.

After that first year, you can reduce this down to a couple of times a week, but you will need to do this for the rest of your life.

Now that we know what retainers are, let’s take a look at why it is important that they fit correctly.

Do Retainers Have To Fit Perfectly?

Retainers are essentially the final part of orthodontic treatment. They preserve the new structure of your mouth, and ensure that your teeth do not move out of line. In order to do this, it is very important that your retainers fit perfectly. 

Retainers are not a one size fits all product. Instead, your retainers are specifically designed to the shape of your mouth.

In the same way that braces are designed to perfectly fit your teeth and pull them into a better position, your retainers are designed to hold your teeth in that position.

When you put your retainers in at night, they will correct any small movements that have occurred during the day. 

If your retainers do not fit perfectly, then they will be unable to hold your teeth in the correct position, meaning that your teeth might move back to where they were before.

Over time, your original retainers may no longer be a perfect fit for your mouth, and this is why you will likely have to be fitted for retainers multiple times throughout your life.

But, if your retainer doesn’t fit your mouth correctly, it won’t be able to do its job, which is why it is very important that your retainer always fits perfectly.

How To Know If Your Retainer Doesn’t Fit

How To Know If Your Retainer Doesn’t Fit

So, it is clearly important that your retainer fits your mouth well. But, how do you know if your retainer doesn’t fit?

In theory, this seems obvious, but in reality, it isn’t. So, let’s take a look at some ways to know if your retainer doesn’t fit.

Too Tight Or Too Loose

One of the easiest ways to tell if your retainer doesn’t fit is if it is too tight or too loose.

It is normal for your retainer to feel a little tight when you first put it in during the night as your teeth will move slightly during the day.

However, if you go to fit your retainer and realize that it won’t slot over your teeth, this is a sign that your retainer doesn’t fit. 

Likewise, your retainer might not fit your teeth properly if it is too loose. It is very important for your retainers to fit snugly to your teeth, otherwise your teeth will be able to move while you are wearing your retainers.

So, if your retainer is loose when it is in your mouth, then this is because it doesn’t fit.

Discomfort

The very first time that you wear your retainer, it is normal to experience some discomfort, simply because this is new.

However, over time, you will get used to your retainer, and within the worst week or two, you shouldn’t experience any discomfort when wearing your retainer.

If you start to experience discomfort when wearing your retainer, this is a sign that it doesn’t fit. 

Damage

If you wear your retainer every night, you will get used to the feeling of it. Retainers are designed to last for years, and during this time, they should fit your mouth perfectly.

However, if your retainers become damaged during this time, then this will likely prevent them from fitting properly.

So, if your retainers look damaged, then they likely won’t fit your mouth properly.

Summary

In short, it is very important for your retainers to fit your mouth properly. Your retainers are meant to have a fairly snug fit to your teeth, as this allows them to retain your teeth’s alignment.

If your retainers do not fit your mouth properly, then your teeth will be able to move. 

One of the most obvious ways to know if your retainers don’t fit is if they feel overly tight, or overly loose in your mouth.

You can also tell if your retainers do not fit by measuring your levels of discomfort. After the first few uses, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort when wearing your retainers. 

Thank you for reading!

Andrew Kemp
Latest posts by Andrew Kemp (see all)