My Retainer Feels Tight. Can I Still Wear It?

April 6, 2021

As long as your retainer doesn’t hurt and still fits over your teeth, you can wear it – even if it feels tight. Your teeth may have slightly shifted, and you may need to wear your retainer longer each day to prevent your teeth from moving. 

Try wearing your retainer full-time for a few days to encourage your teeth to move back into their correct positions. If the retainer continues to feel uncomfortable, contact your AAO orthodontist to determine the next steps.

What if the retainer doesn’t fit at all or feels painful?

Don’t force it. Contact your AAO orthodontist, who will evaluate your situation and determine what actions, if any, are needed. It could be as simple as making a new retainer or, if necessary, making some clear aligners to tweak a tooth or teeth back into proper position. 

Trust an AAO Orthodontist

You can work with an American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Orthodontist to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Find an orthodontist near you at aaoinfo.org/locator