Which TYPE of Retainer is best for me – REMOVABLE or FIXED?
Routinely we provide our patients with retainers at the end of treatment with braces. Retainers are essential to hold the teeth in their finished positions as all teeth want to move slightly over time.
There are TWO types of retainers:
• Ones that the patient can REMOVE
• and ones that the patient CANNOT REMOVE (as they are fixed to the teeth on the inside).
The ONLY advantage of a FIXED retainer is that the patient does not have to remember to wear it (as it is permanently glued to the teeth!)
The disadvantages of FIXED retainers are:
• They require maintenance work if they come unglued from the teeth incurring a repair fee.
• It is Impossible to clean around it and in between the teeth properly.
• At some stage in the future an appointment will needed to physically remove it and the glue off the teeth.
• It costs $100 more than the removable retainer.
The advantages of the REMOVABLE retainer are many and include:
• You can take it out of your mouth to eat, therefore you can eat whatever type of food you wish. You can’t do this with a fixed retainer, as you can crack it off your teeth.
• You can more easily brush and floss around you teeth than with a retainer that is fixed onto your teeth.
• When you want to stop with the retainer you just have to take it out of your mouth. With a fixed retainer you must go back to your orthodontist or family dentist and pay for an appointment to have it removed.
The ONLY disadvantage of the REMOVABLE retainer is that the patient needs to be reliable enough to wear it.