My fixed retainer feels sharp or rough

A new fixed retainer will sometimes feel rough. It will take a few days to get use to this as the tongue becomes accustomed to the retainer.

The retainer should not be sharp. If it is excessively sharp, it is possible that the fixed retainer has come loose so you should contact the practice for a prompt appointment.

Rinsing with warm salt water (a teaspoon of spoon of salt dissolved in a cup of warm water) for 60 seconds 3 to 5 times a day may help alleviate any discomfort that the sharpness has caused to your tongue.

Orthodontic wax can sometimes be used on a fixed retainer to reduce any discomfort. A small pea-sized amount of the wax is rolled between your thumb and index finger until it is soft. It can then be placed on the offending part of the retainer. If you do not have any orthodontic wax, use some of the waxy coating of a Babybel cheese.

Loose fixed retainers should be dealt with promptly as the teeth may start to move towards their pre-treatment position. If you have any concerns about your fixed retainer, you should contact the practice for an earlier appointment. In the meantime, if you have a removable retainer as well, you should wear this more often, ideally every night until you have been seen by the orthodontist.