What to do When Your Retainer Tightens?

Published Date: Updated Date: Reading Time: 3 min 0 Comment
retainer tightens.

After your treatment with braces or clear aligners was completed, your orthodontist provided you with an orthodontic retainer to wear to preserve your results permanently. Though, one day, when you attempt to put your retainer in, it feels incredibly tight. What’s happening? Can dental damage occur from an overly tight retainer? Should you wear the retainer through the discomfort until it fits properly again? Fear not—ALIGNERCO is here to assist you.

Begin your teeth straightening journey today by taking a free assessment.

What Is A Retainer?

An appliance that is custom-made and worn over your teeth is called a teeth retainer. After any orthodontic treatment, it keeps your teeth in their new, proper place.

How Do I Know If My Retainer Doesn’t Fit?

Most of the time, you are correct if you believe that your retainer doesn’t fit. Removing and inspecting your retainer is the best method to see if it fits. A strong possibility exists that the retainer doesn’t fit properly if its shape has changed after you originally purchased it. Retainers are meant for precisely this purpose, so don’t worry. Never choose a retainer that is too loose; always go for one that is tight.

Wear It Constantly To Prevent Relapses

Your teeth will most likely be back to their original positions if you forget to wear your retainer as prescribed. This is called “relapse”. It will be challenging to put your original retainer back in your mouth after this. From your orthodontist, you will require a new one.

Steps Needed to Tighten the Majority of Retainers

You could observe that a retainer you use to prevent your teeth from moving grows loose with time. Although this is natural, you should tighten it when it begins to feel less tight. In case that you don't, your teeth can shift once again, requiring you to wear the retainer longer than is necessary.

The following steps can be used to easily adjust the retainer:

  • Step 1: Soak your retainer in warm water until it begins to soften a bit. This will increase the retainer's malleability and ease of adjustment.
  • Step 2: With a pair of needle-nose pliers, gently bend the retainer's wire up. Avoid bending the wires excessively all at once to avoid damaging the retainer. If you want the retainer to fit as tightly as you want, only bend the wire up a millimeter at a time.
  • Step 3: After you've made enough adjustments to see if it fits comfortably, put the retainer back in your mouth. If not, go back through steps 1 through 3 until your retainer reaches the appropriate level of tightness.

To know more about tightening the retainers contact us at +351 300 600 820

To ensure that there are no loose parts or broken wires, remove the retainer and give it a thorough inspection. Additionally, you should check the plastic for any fractures or other damage. You should get in touch with your dentist or orthodontist for repairs or a replacement retainer if you notice any damage. Tighten the wire if no damage is present.


1. What should I do if the tightness in my retainer increases?

Don't freak out if your retainer gets tighter. Gradually extend the wear time by starting with shorter wear times. Speak with your orthodontist if the discomfort continues.

2. Why does my retainer feel so tight all of a sudden?

Teeth or jaw alignment changes may cause your retainers to become more snug. This could occur if your teeth have moved or if you haven't worn your retainer regularly.

3. Can I make my retainer adjustments?

Changing your retainer on your own is not advised. Consult your orthodontist for help; they can expertly reposition it so that it fits comfortably.