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Better to Leave Off Ill-Fitting Retainer?



I apologize, this is a follow up, as I`m unsure of how to get a quick clarification.

"I have not worn my retainer for 7 months. I wore it previously on and off for about 4 years. The longest I had it off then was 3 months before I started wearing it regularly again.

However, now, I can get it to fit, but not perfectly. It feels like there`s a "space" in my mouth on the roof, like it`s not going up all the way. It used to fit unevenly, too, with the left side going in higher than the right. It`s been in now for about 30 minutes and after 20 I noticed I can push the right up a little more. It hurts!

I don`t mind the pain (well, I do, but...) but cannot afford to get another mold for a new retainer. Will it eventually fit right if I wear it long enough? Or is it worse for my teeth if I try to wear it and it doesn`t fit right - as in it won`t shift back close to where it was?

Thank you!"

You said I need a new mold or an adjustment from an orthodontist, but I will not be able to have that done for at least a few months. In the meantime, would it be better to leave on the half-fitting retainer, or to take it out? With the prior on-and-off wearing I was always able to fit it in fully to go with my prior adjustment, but this is the first time it`s never been able to fit like it used to.

Thank you for your time and help.


You can try that as long as you don't encounter pain beyond what you had when the teeth were being adjusted.

For more information:

Go to the Braces health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University