retainers austin tx

Oh No – My Retainer Feels Tight!

Austin, TX – Getting your braces off is an exciting day! You’ll finally get to see the reward from all the hard work you put in over your months in treatment. The day your braces come off isn’t the day your orthodontic treatment ends, however. In order to keep your smile as straight as the day the braces were removed, it’s important to wear your retainer as directed by Dr. Gonzalez. But what happens if you forget to wear your retainer for a little while, and then it feels too tight?

The great thing about retainers after orthodontics is that they are removable – that means no more pesky brackets and wires always adhered to your teeth. You can remove the retainer as needed. That’s also a downside, though, because it means you can forget to wear it. And even going just a few days without wearing it can cause the retainer to feel tight and a bit uncomfortable when you put it back in.

So, what should you do?

If your retainer feels tight but doesn’t cause pain and can still fit over your teeth, the best thing to do is to go back to wearing the retainer regularly. Your teeth may have shifted slightly, making the retainer feel tighter than it should. 

If you can still place the retainer over your teeth, you should begin wearing the retainer regularly again to ensure your teeth do not move any further out of their final alignment. Once you begin wearing the retainer regularly, the pressure and tightness you felt will begin to go away. 

In some cases, the retainer itself may have become damaged or warped somehow. In this case, it is best to call our office so that we can examine the retainer and adjust it if possible, or make a new one, if needed. 

Retainers require work on the part of the patient, not just to wear them as directed, but also to properly care for them. Because they are removable, it can be easy to misplace them or damage them. Whenever your retainer is not in your mouth, it should be in a case. This will ensure it doesn’t accidentally get thrown away, stepped on, or accidentally becomes your dog’s next chew toy!

One of the biggest mistakes orthodontic patients make after braces is not wearing their retainer properly. Retainers are essential to ensuring the smile you see on the day your braces are removed is the smile that you continue to have. Some patients who forego retainer wear or who don’t follow proper wear often see their smiles shift back and have to undergo orthodontic treatment again later. 

If you have a retainer that feels too tight, whether from wearing it too infrequently or because of possible damage, call your orthodontic experts at Pure Smiles Orthodontics today. They can examine your retainer and determine the best way to move forward to ensure your smile lasts.