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Permanent vs Removable Retainers: What’s the Difference?

Getting braces is something most of us do at some point in our lives. After we’re done with braces, we need retainers. At Swan Orthodontics, we offer different options for retainers, permanent or removable.

Permanent Retainers

A permanent retainer, also known as a bonded retainer, is a piece of wire that is attached to the back of the teeth. Usually, the wire is placed behind the bottom front teeth. This retainer can give support to the teeth and can be used to close gaps.

Benefits Of Permanent Retainers

Some of the reasons people choose this option include:

  • Help prevent teeth from shifting
  • Can’t lose it like removable retainers

Drawbacks Of Permanent Retainers

Some things people may dislike about this option are:

  • Bonded retainers can break.
  • Certain foods like hard candies are dangerous to eat with permanent retainers.
  • Permanent retainers must be kept clean to prevent tartar buildup on the teeth.
  •  Only the front teeth are protected from shifting with this option.

Removable Retainers

At Swan Orthodontics, we offer two varieties of removable retainers. The first has a metal bar around the teeth and acrylic in the palate, this is called a Hawley retainer. We recommend Hawleys for our younger patients, as we are able to make adjustments to them when patients lose and gain teeth. The second type of removable retainers that we offer are made from clear, hard plastic and are called invisible retainers. They are molded to fit your teeth, and each retainer is unique to its owner. The first four to six months after you get your braces off, you should wear your retainers constantly, except when you are eating or brushing your teeth. Then, you can transition to nighttime wear. To keep your teeth as straight as possible, you should wear retainers nightly for life.

Benefits Of Removable Retainers

This option is chosen for numerous reasons, including:

  • They will keep all the teeth in position
  • Cleaning teeth and the retainer is easy since the retainer is able to be taken out.
  • They can protect the teeth against slight grinding at night.
  • If teeth move slightly, you can wear them full time until the teeth are back in position.

Drawbacks Of Removable Retainers

Some things people dislike about this option:

  • You must remember to wear them.
  • They can be lost, and you will need a new set custom made if you lose them.

You and your orthodontist can decide which option is best for your specific needs. In some cases, bonded and removable retainers are both recommended for optimal results long-term.

Schedule a Consultation

Taking care of our teeth and oral health greatly impacts our overall health. If you are interested in retainers, contact our team at Swan Orthodontics. We will help to recommend the best retainer for you. For an appointment, call our office or fill out an online form.