Permanent Retainers: Removal, Risks, and Reshaping Your Smile
Oral Health Blog

Permanent Retainers: Removal, Risks, and Reshaping Your Smile


Permanent retainers, also known as fixed or bonded retainers, play a crucial role in maintaining the alignment of your teeth after orthodontic treatment. However, there are circumstances where you might wonder if a dentist can remove a permanent retainer and what the implications might be. In this article, we will explore the removal process, potential effects on your teeth and facial shape, and why people sometimes stop wearing retainers.

Can a Permanent Retainer Damage Teeth?

Permanent retainers are generally designed not to damage teeth, but issues can arise in certain cases.

Points to consider:

  • A well-fitted permanent retainer should not harm teeth or cause decay.
  • Poor oral hygiene, such as neglecting to clean around the retainer, can lead to plaque buildup and cavities.
  • Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings can help prevent potential issues with permanent retainers.

Why Do People Stop Wearing Retainers?

Several reasons may lead people to discontinue wearing their retainers.

Points to consider:

  • Some individuals may forget or neglect to wear their retainers consistently.
  • Retainer discomfort or soreness can discourage people from regular use.
  • A perceived stability of their teeth over time might lead some to believe that they no longer need retainers.

Can Not Wearing Your Retainer Change Your Face Shape?

Not wearing your retainer may not significantly change your face shape, but it can affect your smile.

Points to consider:

  • A lack of retainer use may result in teeth shifting, which can alter the appearance of your smile.
  • Changes in teeth alignment may not have a significant impact on your overall facial structure.
  • Wearing a retainer as recommended can help maintain your desired smile and overall facial appearance.

Should I Wear My Old Retainer If It Hurts?

Wearing an old retainer that hurts should be approached with caution.

Points to consider:

  • Pain or discomfort when wearing your old retainer may indicate teeth misalignment.
  • Consult with your orthodontist or dentist to assess the retainer's fit and potential adjustments.
  • If the retainer causes persistent discomfort, it may be advisable to consider a new retainer or alternative orthodontic solutions.

Will a Dentist Remove a Permanent Retainer?

A dentist or orthodontist can remove a permanent retainer if necessary.

Points to consider:

  • Removing a permanent retainer is a straightforward and minimally invasive procedure.
  • An orthodontic professional will use dental pliers to carefully detach the retainer from your teeth.
  • After removal, your orthodontist may provide instructions for retainer replacement or other post-treatment care.


While permanent retainers are designed not to damage teeth, maintaining good oral hygiene and attending regular dental check-ups are essential to prevent issues such as plaque buildup and cavities. People may stop wearing retainers for various reasons, including forgetfulness, discomfort, or the belief that their teeth are stable. Not wearing a retainer may lead to teeth shifting, potentially impacting your smile. If your old retainer causes discomfort, it's advisable to consult with an orthodontist or dentist for an assessment and potential adjustments. Dentists and orthodontists can remove permanent retainers when necessary, a simple and minimally invasive procedure. After removal, you will receive guidance on the next steps, such as retainer replacement or other post-treatment care.

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.