Clear Retainers vs Traditional Retainers : Which One to Pick?

Which retainers is best after braces  | makeO

Debating about whether you should wear retainers after completing your clear aligners treatment? A common misconception that many braces and aligner wearers have is that retainers are an option rather than a mandatory step after completing your teeth straightening treatment.

A retainer will prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original position after your teeth straightening treatment. Your doctor will initially recommend you wear your retainers full-time for at least a year or two after which he may suggest you switch to wearing them while you sleep at night, depending on your dental case.

Should you buy invisible retainers or traditional retainers? Here is a complete guide that will help you choose the right retainer for your teeth.

Types of retainers

Today, there are a plethora of types of retainers you can choose from. The two most common types of retainers that you must know are:

Once you decide whether you want to opt for permanent retainers or removable ones, then you can decide whether you want to go for metal wire or clear plastic ones. Keep in mind that though all types of retainers do the same job, they affect your teeth differently and their treatment period varies.

Invisible retainers vs Traditional retainers

Want to know more about invisible retainers and traditional retainers? Clueless about the major difference between invisible retainers and traditional retainers? Here is what you must know .

Invisible retainers

  • Invisible or clear retainers are made of plastic and they fit snugly on your teeth.
  • They are typically made using the impression of your teeth and they fit perfectly to your upper and lower gums.
  • Clear retainers are easy to store and the best part is that you can easily spot debris on them and clean them.
  • Another advantage of clear retainers is that they blend with your teeth well as they are not easily visible and hence look more aesthetically pleasing.
  • They are also more comfortable in comparison to traditional metal retainers and don’t cause too much pain or discomfort while speaking.
  • Clear retainers are slightly on the expensive side in comparison to traditional retainers.

Traditional retainers

  • Traditional retainers or metal retainers are not easy on the eyes but we cannot deny the fact that they get the job done perfectly.
  • Metal retainers are durable and hold your teeth tight and ensure that they don’t shift after your teeth straightening treatment.
  • A major downfall of these retainers is that they are very noticeable and they can lower your self-esteem and make you feel conscious of your smile.
  • They are easy to use and comparatively less expensive than transparent retainers.

The Takeaway

As you can see, both clear and traditional retainers have their pros and cons. You must do your homework and also seek advice from your orthodontist when it comes to choosing the right type of retainer for your teeth.

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How long do clear retainers last?

This depends on how you clean and store them. They can last you for anywhere between 6 months to several years.

Do clear retainers turn yellow?

Your clear retainers might turn yellow over time if you don’t clean them regularly as a film of bacteria build-up will start accumulating on them.

How long do metal retainers last?

Generally, metal retainers are strong and durable and they last you for at least 5-10 years.

Do metal retainers break?

Yes, metal retainers can break if you chew or bite hard, or due to accidents or impacts.

Are metal retainers uncomfortable?

You will notice some level of discomfort when you wear metal retainers as your tongue may come in contact with the wires and you might get a scratch or your gums might get bruised.

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