The Dark Side of Permanent Retainers
Oral Health Blog

The Dark Side of Permanent Retainers


Permanent retainers, often hailed for their effectiveness in maintaining orthodontic results, come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. While they're an excellent choice for some patients, it's essential to understand the potential downsides before making a decision about your orthodontic treatment. In this article, we'll delve into the disadvantages associated with permanent retainers.

1. Cleaning Challenges:

One of the primary downsides of permanent retainers is the difficulty of cleaning and maintaining oral hygiene. These retainers are bonded to the back of the teeth, making it more challenging to reach and clean this area.

2. Increased Risk of Oral Health Issues:

Inadequate cleaning can lead to an increased risk of oral health problems, including plaque buildup, cavities, and gum issues.

3. Regular Dental Check-Ups:

Patients with permanent retainers often need more frequent dental check-ups to ensure their oral health is maintained.

4. Potential for Breakage:

Permanent retainers consist of a thin wire that can potentially break or become loose due to various factors such as eating hard or sticky foods.

5. Inconvenience of Repairs:

If a permanent retainer breaks or becomes loose, it can be inconvenient to have it repaired. The patient needs to visit the orthodontist or dentist for adjustments.

6. Reduced Flossing Options:

Patients with permanent retainers may find traditional flossing more challenging. Specialized flossing tools or techniques may be required for effective cleaning.

7. Speech Difficulties:

Some patients may experience minor speech difficulties when permanent retainers are initially placed, as they can slightly alter tongue placement.

8. Food Restrictions:

Certain foods, particularly hard or sticky items, need to be avoided with permanent retainers to prevent damage or breakage.

9. Additional Costs:

While permanent retainers offer long-term stability, they can come with additional costs for maintenance and repairs.

10. Compatibility with Orthodontic Procedures:

Patients who may need future orthodontic work may find that permanent retainers interfere with certain procedures or need to be removed temporarily.


Permanent retainers have their advantages, such as long-term effectiveness, but it's crucial to be aware of the associated disadvantages. These downsides include cleaning challenges, oral health concerns, potential for breakage, and the need for specialized oral hygiene routines. For patients considering permanent retainers, understanding these potential drawbacks can help them make an informed decision about their orthodontic 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.