Removable Versus Permanent Retainer: Which Is Best For You?

Dentist Blog

Whilst getting your braces off is undoubtedly an exciting event in your life, that excitement might temporarily fade if you're not sure which type of retainer to choose. Deciding between a removable and a permanent retainer may seem challenging right now, but with the help of the information below (and the guidance of your orthodontist!) you'll be able to choose the right one for you. 

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers are the most often-used retainer option. They offer a significant advantage: They pop in and out in seconds. When you have a removable retainer, you'll have the option of enjoying brief 'retainer holidays' for special events. You'll also remove the retainer whilst eating and whilst doing your regular oral care routine. Some removable retainers are also used just at night. Overall, this means that you get plenty of time to enjoy a metal-free mouth. 

The main drawback of removable retainers is the fact that they can easily be misplaced or lost. Many removable retainers have been lost after being wrapped in tissue during a meal and then accidentally thrown in the rubbish bin. Another potential disadvantage of removable retainers is that they're only suited for those who are quite self-disciplined. If you aren't able to force yourself to adhere to a strict schedule, a removable retainer might not be best. After all, the retainer can only do its job whilst it's in your mouth. 

Permanent Retainers

Permanent retainers are placed in the mouth by an orthodontist, and they're designed to stay in place for the long term. The permanent retainer is made from a strong but flexible stainless steel wire. This wire is attached to the back of your teeth using dental cement. Typically, this wire moves in a line across the back of the front-facing six bottom teeth. Some patients may also have a permanent retainer on back of the front-facing six top teeth. The primary advantage of the permanent retainer is that you can't forget to wear it -- and there's no way that you can misplace it, either. Whilst wearing a permanent retainer, you can feel confident that your teeth won't shift. 

The main disadvantage to permanent retainers is that they can be challenging to deal with whilst flossing. The metal must be carefully flossed around, and this means that you might have to devote extra time to flossing every day. Additionally, some people may find the sensation of metal permanently bonded to the back of their teeth an odd one -- however, over time you'll likely grow accustomed. 


27 February 2018

Dental Health: Not To Be Taken For Granted

As a retired dentist, I work with charities which visit developing countries and educate children about dental care. It gives me great satisfaction to revisit these communities and see how proud the children are of their efforts. I am acutely aware that good dental hygiene can help prevent a range of serious conditions when these children become older. I started this blog because it greatly distresses me that many people in Australia do not seem to care for their teeth as much as children in these poor communities. This is happening despite ready access to items like toothbrushes and toothpaste which are luxuries in the places I visit. It is my hope that this blog encourages you not to take dental health for granted. My greatest wish is that you can be as inspired as the children I see in my charity work. Please read on and enjoy.