My Retainer Doesn’t Fit Anymore

Whether you choose braces, Invisalign, or any of our other orthodontic treatment options to straighten your teeth, you’ll need a phase of retention therapy after you finish the active phase of your treatment. Retention serves to solidify the alignment of your new teeth, preventing them from regressing to their old positions and erasing your hard work. You’ll need to wear your retainer on a semi-regular basis for years after treatment, and depending on the specifics of your orthodontic situation, you may need to keep wearing it periodically for life. But in some cases, it’s possible for teeth to shift positions after treatment to the point that your retainer doesn’t fit anymore. As your dedicated orthodontist in Champlin and the surrounding areas, we’re here to explain how to handle a retainer that no longer fits your mouth.

What to Do If Your Retainer Doesn’t Fit

First off, remember that even if you find that your retainer no longer fits you, there’s no reason to panic. There are two possible causes to this problem, and while it’s important to take action as soon as possible, both are entirely solvable.

The first and most common reason that a retainer no longer fits is that the retainer’s shape has been distorted somehow. Normally, this happens when you wash the retainer in water that’s too hot. Hot water can easily distort the shape of your retainer, and it’s not difficult to accidentally use overly-hot water and cause the retainer to subtly warp, preventing it from fitting correctly. Another possibility is that the retainer has warped from a drop or getting stepped on, bending the wire or warping the plastic. In any case, we’ll first examine your retainer to see if it’s changed shape, and if it has, we can simply fabricate a new retainer to replace it.

The second possibility is that your teeth have shifted positions, causing the retainer to no longer fit properly. This normally happens if a patient hasn’t used the retainer exactly as directed: for example, if you’re not wearing the retainer for the full number of recommended hours per day, this can allow your teeth to subtly shift positions and move out of proper alignment. If this is the case and your retainer can still fit on your teeth, we’ll recommend wearing it full time for several days to influence your teeth to move to their correct positions. If this doesn’t work or the retainer can’t fit at all, however, we’ll need to bring you in for an examination. From there, we may recommend a new retainer or a small course of orthodontic treatment to correct the problem and restore your healthy smile.

Contact Your Maple Grove, MN Orthodontist

No matter the cause of an ill-fitting retainer, we can easily work with you to solve the problem and restore your beautiful, healthy smile. If you notice your retainer isn’t fitting properly or have any questions about retention therapy, we’re here to help: simply reach out to us to speak with one of our dedicated staff members. We can’t wait to hear from you, and no matter where you are in the orthodontic treatment process, we’re excited to help you achieve a gorgeous new smile!