Lingual Retainers: Do They Really Work?
Oral Health Blog

Lingual Retainers: Do They Really Work?

Introduction: The Intrigue of Lingual Retainers

Lingual retainers, often shrouded in curiosity due to their discreet nature, have been gaining popularity as a means to maintain a straight smile. In this article, we unravel the mystery surrounding lingual retainers and delve into their effectiveness, benefits, cleaning tips, and more.

Do Lingual Retainers Work?

The primary concern for anyone considering lingual retainers is their effectiveness. The resounding answer is yes, lingual retainers are indeed effective in maintaining the alignment of your teeth. Here's why:


1. Retention Power: Lingual retainers are designed to provide constant, gentle pressure on your teeth, preventing them from shifting. This ensures that the results achieved through braces or other orthodontic treatments are maintained.

2. Discreetness: Unlike traditional retainers or braces, lingual retainers are virtually invisible. This discreetness encourages individuals to comply with their retainer-wearing instructions, leading to better results.

3. Custom Fit: Lingual retainers are custom-made to fit your unique dental structure. This personalized fit enhances their effectiveness in preventing teeth from moving out of alignment.

What Are the Benefits of a Lingual Retainer?

Apart from their effectiveness, lingual retainers offer several benefits:

1. Invisibility: Lingual retainers are hidden behind your teeth, making them virtually invisible to others. This feature is particularly appealing to individuals who want to maintain their smile discreetly.

2. Permanent Yet Removable: Lingual retainers are considered semi-permanent. While they are designed to stay in place for an extended period, they can be removed by your orthodontist when necessary.

3. Low Maintenance: Lingual retainers are relatively low-maintenance. Regular brushing and flossing are typically sufficient to keep them clean and free from plaque buildup.

How Do You Clean Your Teeth with a Lingual Retainer?

Maintaining good oral hygiene with a lingual retainer is essential to ensure its effectiveness and prevent dental issues. Here's how to clean your teeth with a lingual retainer:

1. Brushing: Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently brush your teeth, including the surfaces covered by the retainer. Pay extra attention to cleaning around the retainer wire.

2. Flossing: Thread dental floss under the retainer wire and between your teeth to remove food particles and plaque. Floss threaders or specialized floss designed for braces can be helpful.

3. Rinsing: Rinse your mouth with water after meals to help dislodge any food debris.

4. Regular Check-ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups to monitor your oral health and the condition of your lingual retainer. Your orthodontist may recommend professional cleanings as needed.

How Fast Do Lingual Braces Work?

The speed at which lingual braces, including retainers, work can vary depending on individual factors, such as the complexity of your orthodontic issues and your adherence to treatment instructions. However, lingual retainers tend to work at a pace similar to traditional braces or other types of retainers.

Should I Soak My Retainer in Mouthwash?

Soaking your retainer in mouthwash is generally not recommended. Many commercial mouthwashes contain alcohol or other ingredients that can be harsh on the materials used in retainers. Instead, use a retainer cleaning solution or plain water to soak your retainer when needed.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Permanent Retainers?

Dental insurance coverage for permanent retainers can vary depending on your insurance plan and provider. Some plans may cover a portion of the cost, while others may not cover permanent retainers at all. It's essential to check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage and potential out-of-pocket expenses.


In the quest for a straight and beautiful smile, lingual retainers have proven themselves to be reliable and effective. Their ability to work discreetly while maintaining dental alignment makes them a popular choice for many individuals. By following proper oral hygiene practices and adhering to your orthodontist's instructions, you can maximize the effectiveness of your lingual retainer, ensuring a smile that lasts a lifetime.

Are you currently using or thinking about using retainer cleaning tablets? It's important to be aware that certain cleaner brands have the potential to cause toxic reactions.

It's crucial to be aware of harmful ingredients hiding in common cleaner brands. One such persulfate, which can pose SERIOUS health risks and is found in almost all leading retainer cleaners brands. Moreover, persulfate's health risks potentially impact respiratory health and skin sensitivities in your family, especially in teens and sensitive individuals. Learn more about the risk of persulfate HERE


The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen. The author and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from the information provided in this article.