mobile navigation aao-full invisalign icon invisalign-full invisalign-color invisalign-teen ada ada-full abo icon abo-full aao cda twitter< facebook google instagram youtube rss yelp healthgrades logo_facebook logo_instagram logo_twitter logo_google youtube logo_yelp rss blogger healthgrades logo_b map-pin close invisalign_comfort invisalign_control invisalign_predictability invisalign_speed outline_head outline_dollar outline_star outline_one outline_two outline_three outline_four thurman_cap smile treatment_faq treatment_imaging treatment_hightech treatment_metal treatment_ceramic treatment_invisalign phone smile-on

Removable Vs Permanent Retainers – Pros and Cons

removable retainer

After months of dedication and taking good care of your teeth, your braces are finally coming off. You now have that smile you wanted for so long. But you aren’t done yet. This is the time to make some decisions about retainers. Teeth have a natural tendency to move back to their original position after the treatment but the function of a retainer after braces is to hold them in their position so that the relapse doesn’t occur.

There are mainly two types of retainers – removable retainer and permanent retainer. And both come with their pros and cons. Read on to find out more about these two types before you make a decision.

What Are Removable Retainers?

Removable retainers are made from a clear plastic sheet that are formed to fit your teeth perfectly. They have a tight hold on your teeth that helps them stop the teeth from moving back into their original position. But retainers are a commitment. A removable invisible retainer should be worn all day and night for 2 to 3 months. And after that, only at nights for the lifetime. Even if you take good care of your teeth, removable retainers will need to be worn for at least 10 years after the treatment. This makes sure that you still have the smile you have worked so hard for.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Removable Retainer?


  • Clear retainers are almost invisible and easy to wear.
  • You need not wear them all day long, just at nights would do.
  • Clear trays completely cover the teeth, hence holding them strong in their new position.
  • Since they can be removed, they are easier to clean and take care of.
  • Removable retainers aids in good oral hygiene since you can remove them before brushing and flossing your teeth.
  • Perfect in cases when patients get dental restorations such as fillings and crowns since it protects the teeth if they clench and grind them.
  • Teeth whitening after the treatment is easy with clear retainers. Patients can apply bleaching gel on the inside of the retainers and use them as a bleaching tray.


  • Removable retainers need to be taken out while playing sports or eating. This can get hectic sometimes.
  • Patients tend to usually lose them.

What Is A Permanent Retainer?

These are called bonded or fixed retainers. They are bonded behind the teeth to avoid relapse and are great in cases where patients had a large space between the front teeth before the treatment. They help keep the space closed.

permenant retainers on a table

Pros And Cons Of Permanent Retainer


  • Permanent retainers are ideal in cases when relapse is most likely to occur.
  • Permanent retainers need not be taken out before meals and other activities which saves the time of taking them out and putting them back in every day.


  • Permanent retainers add a little extra time for flossing since the retainer is attached between the teeth.
  • They sometimes affect oral hygiene since they are more susceptible to the plaque build around them.
  • Hard, sticky and crunchy food may cause the retainer to break.
  • There are bonded only to the 6 front teeth and hence do not provide protection from relapse for the back teeth.
  • Sometimes, they can cause speech impediment.

Retainers after the orthodontic treatment are a long-term commitment. But if you get detailed assistance, you can choose what suits your lifestyle best. At Thurman Orthodontics, we strive to give our patients the most reliable treatment and all the advice and support to ensure that the result they see after the treatment is exactly what they wanted.
Have questions? Give us a call at 559-439-0425 or visit to book an appointment and let us take care of your smile.


  1. What are permanent retainers made of? – A permanent retainer is a thin wire that is attached to your teeth using a special adhesive. It helps keep your teeth in place and is usually used on the lower teeth, specifically the front four to six teeth. The wire can be made of metal or strong fiber material.

You are just one call away from a perfect, beautiful and healthy smile!

So give us a call or request a complimentary consultation online.

We look forward to meeting you!

Let's setup a time to hangout!

Appointment Request