Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings Blog

Removable and Permanent Retainers – What’s the Difference?

removable retainers are removable

After your braces come off, congratulations! You’ve graduated to the retention period. It’s essential to wear your retainer as your teeth learn to stay in their new positions. (For more details on when and how long to wear your retainer, read this article.)

There are two main types of retainer: Permanent and Removable. What’s the difference?

Comparison Between Permanent and Removable Retainers

The difference between permanent and removable retainers really is in the name! A removable retainer is probably what you think of when you think about a retainer. It’s a removable plastic insert with a metal bar that goes around the outside of your teeth.

In contrast to the easily removed and replaced removable retainer, a permanent retainer is a metal bar affixed directly to the back of your teeth, similar to braces. They’re both effective ways to keep your newly improved smile from shifting out of place.

Pros and Cons to the Different Types of Retainers

Both Permanent and Removable braces have their advantages and neither is a bad option.

A removable retainer is going to be more visible, since it does go on the front of your teeth. Some people also find them to be less comfortable. But there is a convenience factor with a removable retainer… it’s removable, so you can eat and brush your teeth normally. But that also means you have to remember to clean it, wear it, and not lose it.

A permanent retainer is on the back of your teeth, so it’s going to be invisible and a little more comfortable and you won’t have to worry about misplacing it.

The down side is that, like braces, you have to be careful with some foods. When you brush and floss, the permanent retainer can be more difficult to clean thoroughly than if you didn’t have it.

Don’t Skip Your Retainer!

Braces are a real investment of time and money. Whether you go with a removable retainer or a permanent one, the retainer period is an important part of your braces journey.

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for other questions we often receive. If you can’t find what you’re looking for or want to schedule a consultation with Dr Meyer, contact us online or call 605-692-7511.