Are Permanent Retainers Bad for Your Teeth?

By October 9, 2018 Blog, FAQ's, Life After braces

permanent retainers bad

After your braces are removed, your teeth will continue to shift with age—unless you wear your retainer for life. Permanent retainers are one option to consider to maintain your perfect smile after braces. Sometimes patients ask: “Are permanent retainers bad for my teeth long-term?” The simple answer is: Nope! As long as you floss and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Proof that Permanent Retainers Are Not Harmful Long-term

This 20-year study, published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, showed that bonded lower permanent retainers will keep teeth straight with no negative impact on the gums or teeth as long as patients keep them clean.

Advantages of Permanent Retainers

Here’s why you may want to consider wearing a “fixed” or permanent retainer vs. removable retainer:

  • Most of the time people won’t even realize you are wearing it, because it is bonded to the back of the teeth. It is not visible when you talk, laugh, or smile.
  • You won’t have to worry about losing it or forgetting to wear it! This is a huge advantage for patients who want to “get it and forget it.”
  • You won’t have to worry about talking with a slight speech impediment, which is a common side effect of wearing removable retainers.
  • The permanent appliance is small and comfortable. It rests behind the central lower teeth and maintains your lower alignment all day, every day.
  • A permanent retainer offers better long-term results for teeth straightening.

To learn more about how permanent retainers work, read our previous post: Permanent Retainers After Braces.

Are There Any Disadvantages of Permanent Retainers?

One potential downside is flossing. Some patients may find it more difficult to floss with a permanent retainer. However, our team here at Dougherty Orthodontics will be happy to show you effective ways to floss quickly and easily with your permanent retainer.

If you have any other questions—like “Are permanent retainers bad for your teeth?” or “Can I bleach my teeth with braces?” or “How much do braces cost?”—browse our blog or contact us. Call our office at 636.825.1000 or email