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Braces

Better to Leave Off Ill-Fitting Retainer?

03/29/2010

Question:

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.

Answer:

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