Retainer Not Fitting? Follow These Tips & Fix the Loose Retainer

Are you confused because your retainers don’t fit properly anymore? It can be frustrating as it’s not always clear what to do if your retainer doesn’t fit. But fear not! This blog post reveals some tips and tricks for dealing with this common issue and the possible causes as well. So let’s get started!

How to Know if Your Retainer Doesn’t Fit?

To address an issue, you must know that there is an issue. So, how to be sure that you are wearing retainers that don’t fit? Let’s find out! Your orthodontist carefully custom-molds your retainer to fit your teeth perfectly. They even have you try it on to ensure it fits just right. Once you try it, you know how a retainer should fit. So you can instantly recognize loose retainer.

But if you wear it irregularly or it gets damaged, the fit can change. It may feel too loose or too tight, which means it’s time to see your orthodontist. Clear plastic retainers can also be affected by heat, so be careful not to leave them in hot places for too long.

Remember, if your retainer doesn’t fit comfortably, don’t force it. Instead, switch to your backup retainer or make an appointment with your orthodontist to get a new one made.

Why is Your Retainer Not Fitting?

If you are struggling with the fitting of your retainer, it’s natural to often wonder “why my retainer doesn’t fit anymore.” Here are 3 possible reasons because of which your retainers stopped working:

1. Shifting of Teeth Overtime

This is probably the most common reason why a retainer feels loose after a point of time. Your teeth are constantly shifting throughout your life, even after braces or other orthodontic treatments. If your retainer is designed to fit your old tooth position, it won’t work correctly anymore.

2. Not Taking Proper Care of Your Retainer

Retainers are delicate appliances that require proper care and handling. If you’re not storing your retainer correctly or using it incorrectly, it can become damaged and stop fitting. For example, if you leave your retainer in a hot car or near a heat source, it can warp and lose its shape.

3. Eating Foods Not Good for the Retainer

Hard, sticky, or crunchy foods like popcorn, nuts, and candy can cause damage to the wire that holds your retainer in place. If the wire becomes bent or damaged, your retainer won’t fit properly anymore. To avoid this, try to avoid these types of foods.

How to Make Your Retainer Fit Again?

It’s essential to take action and ensure your retainer stays in its proper place. Here are 3 ways to ensure that:-

1. Visit an Orthodontist

This is the most critical step! Your orthodontist will be able to assess the situation and determine if any adjustments need to be made to your retainer. They may even be able to adjust it right then and there.

So don’t wait – Call us at Bright Orthodontics today and make an appointment to get your retainer adjusted.

2. Get a New Retainer

Is it bad to wear a retainer that doesn’t fit? Yes, indeed, it is detrimental to your orthodontic treatment. Therefore, if your retainer is old or damaged, it may be time for a replacement. Your orthodontist can make you a new one that will fit your teeth perfectly. You can learn more about retainers and its types from our blog here – Permanent Retainer vs. Removable Retainer: Learn the Difference!

3. Change Your Retainer Regularly

Even if your retainer isn’t damaged, it’s a good idea to change it every so often. Over time, retainer material can become less effective at holding teeth in place. Your orthodontist can advise you on how often to change your retainer based on your individual needs.


1. Should I wear my retainer if it doesn’t fit?

No. Wearing loose retainers can delay your retainers. Contact your orthodontics immediately if you notice your retainers don’t fit correctly.

2. Should I try to fit the retainer at home?

No. You shouldn’t attempt to make your retainer fit again at home. Only a dentist or orthodontist has the expertise to provide you with a properly fitting retainer that suits your teeth.

3. What happens if I don’t wear my retainer?

The retainer phase of orthodontic treatment keeps your teeth straight and healthy to prevent them from moving back to their original positions. Without the use of retainers, your teeth will slowly shift back to their old positions. Eventually, it reduces the effectiveness of your treatment.

Remember, your retainer is essential to your orthodontic treatment, and keeping it in good condition is crucial for maintaining your beautiful smile. So, don’t let a loosely fitting retainer ruin all your hard work – follow these tips and get back on track!

Dr. Satish Pai, M.D.S

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.

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