What You Need You to Know About Clear vs. Metal Retainer

Posted on: February 1, 2018

If you are weighing your options and considering a clear vs. metal retainer, we recommend visiting our office to discuss both in detail. Before you do, the below information may be helpful when it comes to making a decision.

The retention phase of orthodontic treatments

It is important to point out that whenever a patient straightens teeth using braces or aligners, it is typically necessary to wear a retainer for a while afterward. This is the retention phase of treatment and is critical to ensure that teeth do not move back to their prior position. How long a patient needs to wear a retainer is going to differ from patient to patient. However, in general, it will be necessary to wear a retainer for an entire year both day and night.

It should come out for eating and brushing teeth but that is it. Once the year is over, most people will begin to wear a retainer at night only. Remember, these instructions do vary, so use this as a reference point only. Both types of retainers will do an excellent job of holding teeth in the correct position. Because of this, which retainer a person chooses can depend on comfort and aesthetics.

Benefits of clear retainers

Many of our patients prefer to wear a clear retainer because of how discreet it is. While it is being worn it may difficult or impossible to see. Since a retainer must be worn during the day initially, this is incredibly advantageous for anyone who is looking forward to showing off their newly straight smile. Other benefits of a clear retainer include:

  • They are easy to keep clean
  • Most people find them to be incredibly comfortable
  • It is easy to speak when wearing them
  • They hold teeth in position without it being obvious

Benefits of metal retainers

A metal retainer is just as effective as a clear retainer is. They are durable and can last for decades. However, one of the challenges patients have with them is that they can be uncomfortable and make it very difficult to speak. In fact, most people find that they must remove a metal retainer before they can carry on a conversation.

Since they also stand out visually, this gives many parents pause for which decision to make. Benefits of metal retainers include:

  • They are durable
  • They can be less expensive than clear retainers
  • It is possible to make adjustments to the wire, something that cannot be done with clear retainers.

Learn more about the options

We create retainers on a regular basis and encourage you to contact our office to learn more about clear vs. metal retainers. We can go over the pros and cons associated with each in greater detail, answer whatever questions you may have and help you to make an informed decision.

Retention is an important part of an orthodontic treatment so it is important to be in the loop and to have an idea if you want clear vs. metal retainers at the beginning of the treatment process. Call today to learn more.