Removable retainer vs Fixed or bonded Retainer

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After orthodontic treatment everyone and I do mean everyone should get a retainer to hold their now straight teeth in place. One of the biggest questions is which retainer will you get.  Depending on orthodontist you get one or the other, unless for some particular reason the orthodontist chooses one over the other. Be aware there are challenges that come along for each type of retainer, so let’s compare:

Removable retainer:

First of all it is removable which means the patient has the responsibility of making sure they keep up with the retainer and wear as instructed to maintain that new smile

Removable can be lost very easily especially if you feel it’s a burden to deal with in the first place. Most of the time they end up in the garbage at a restaurant or school after being left behind on the food tray or wrapped in a napkin that was placed on the table.

The next problem is the dog and cat yes I said cat lovers. While dogs are notorious for chewing up a retainer that is sitting on the top of the night stand or dresser ( in a case or not), cats have their fun with them too, such as playing with them like one of their furry little friends (a mouse)  slap it around until its lost and sometimes they may just chew on it as well.   What fun!

Removable retainers must be cleaned just like dentures, brushed after wearing them and/or soaking them to keep them fresh tasting and clean as possible.

If the patient does not wear them as instructed their teeth could shift making it hard to continue to wear the retainers and if warranted may need to have a new one/pair made, which would require the patient to go back into the orthodontist’s office get new impression(s) and return a week or so later to have the new retainers placed. (No you can’t just go and pick them up, they need to be fitted properly by the orthodontist).

Bonded or permanent retainers:

How wonderful everyone feels when they get the wire glued to the back of their teeth to hold their new smile. Now there is nothing wrong with this until the bonding (glue) on the wire comes off in 1, 2 or maybe 3 places.  Nothing the patient can do but to make an appointment to return to the orthodontist office to have the wire re-glued, otherwise the teeth where the glue has come off may possibly shift.

Then there’s keeping your teeth clean with the wire on. Now I know this sounds easy, but if you are not a good brusher from the start then this might pose a bit of a challenge for you.  You must floss just as you did with the braces, being careful not to pull the wrong way which would dislodge the wire.   You will also need to your best to brush underneath the wire (looking in the mirror does not help this task).

So as you can see whether you get or choose to have a a removable or bonded retainer you’ve got you work cut out for you.

Good luck!







We are passionate about promoting healthy, white smiles and hope you are too! What to know how to maintain and beautiful smile? That is what we are here to help you with!

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