DIY Retainer Remedies: How to Make Your Retainer Fit Like New at Home
Oral Health Blog

DIY Retainer Remedies: How to Make Your Retainer Fit Like New at Home


If your retainer isn't fitting as snugly as before, it might be due to insufficient cleaning or using retainers that aren't conducive to long-term wear. Incorporating a retainer cleaner into your at-home care routine can play a crucial role in maintaining both comfort and structural integrity. Using a persulfate-free retainer cleaner not only aids in keeping your retainer fresh but also contributes to its durability, ensuring that your DIY efforts result in a retainer that fits like new for an extended period.

In this article, we'll explore these techniques to help you make your retainer fit comfortably again.

1. Clean Your Retainer Thoroughly

Over time, your retainer may accumulate buildup from saliva, food particles, and bacteria. A dirty retainer can contribute to an improper fit. Begin the fitting process by cleaning your retainer. You can use a soft-bristle toothbrush with mild soap or a denture cleaner to remove any residues.

2. Warm Water Bath

Soak your retainer in a cup of warm (not hot) water for a few minutes. The warm water will help soften the retainer's plastic, making it more pliable for adjustments.

3. Bite Down Gently

After removing the retainer from the warm water, place it back in your mouth. Bite down gently but firmly on the retainer. This helps it mold to your teeth better. You can also use your fingers to press the retainer against your teeth to ensure a snug fit.

4. Dental Floss Hack

Dental floss can be a handy tool for improving the fit of your retainer. Insert dental floss under the part of the retainer that feels loose or doesn't fit properly. Once the floss is in place, gently pull the ends to tighten the retainer around your teeth.

5. Be Patient

Give it time. After making adjustments, it's essential to wear the retainer consistently to allow it to adapt to your teeth. Initially, it might feel a bit tight, but over time, it should become more comfortable.

6. Use Over-the-Counter Dental Wax

If your retainer has sharp edges or rough spots causing discomfort, you can use over-the-counter dental wax to smooth them out. This can make wearing your retainer more bearable and prevent irritation.

7. Consult Your Orthodontist Remotely

Many orthodontists now offer remote consultations. Reach out to your orthodontist, and they can provide guidance on making your retainer fit better at home. They might even schedule a virtual appointment to assess your situation.

8. Be Cautious with DIY Adjustments

While there are DIY options to improve your retainer's fit, be cautious about making significant adjustments yourself. Drastic changes can damage the retainer or negatively impact your dental alignment. If the fit remains problematic despite your efforts, it's best to consult your orthodontist.

9. Consider a Replacement

If your retainer is significantly damaged, ill-fitting, or too old, it may be time for a replacement. Your orthodontist can create a new retainer tailored to your current dental alignment.


Achieving a comfortable and snug fit for your retainer is essential for maintaining the results of your orthodontic treatment. While some at-home methods can help make your retainer fit better, remember that professional guidance from your orthodontist is invaluable. If all else fails, reach out to your orthodontic provider to ensure your retainer serves its purpose effectively, preserving your beautiful smile.

Are you currently using or thinking about using retainer cleaning tablets? It's important to be aware that certain cleaner brands have the potential to cause toxic reactions.

It's crucial to be aware of harmful ingredients hiding in common cleaner brands. One such persulfate, which can pose SERIOUS health risks and is found in almost all leading retainer cleaners brands. Moreover, persulfate's health risks potentially impact respiratory health and skin sensitivities in your family, especially in teens and sensitive individuals. Learn more about the risk of persulfate HERE.



The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the information provided in this article.