Braces Versus Retainer: Pros and Cons of Each


If you are thinking about straightening your teeth, you may have found there are multiple options to choose from when it comes to getting it accomplished. There are many pros and cons of both retainers and braces. Before you speak with your orthodontist to make your final decision, below are some of the benefits and disadvantages to consider about both.

Retainer Advantages


The main benefit of choosing the retainer is that it will be practically invisible in your mouth. If you are an adult, this option may appeal to you, especially if you have to work daily with clients and colleagues. You don’t want people instantly noticing a mouth full of metal wires while you are trying to have an important conversation. Teenagers who are dealing with self-confidence issues may also see the benefit of invisible retainers.


With the retainer, you can take it out while you eat. You won’t have to worry about food getting stuck in the wires of braces. Just be sure the retainer is in your mouth for at least 22 hours each day so your teeth don’t shift.

Easier To Brush and Floss

As with eating and drinking, you will be able to brush and floss your teeth without any additional hardware in the way.

Fewer Consultations

With retainers, you will only have to visit your orthodontist a few times during the treatment. Your customized retainers will be made in a lab after your orthodontist takes scans of your teeth.


All methods of straightening teeth will be uncomfortable to a certain degree. With the retainers, there are fewer issues with gum and teeth pain than traditional braces.

Retainer Disadvantages


Those who choose to wear retainers will need to take it upon themselves to be disciplined with wearing them the appropriate amount of time. After eating, brushing and flossing, it is essential to put the retainer back in.


When drinking anything other than water, your retainer will need to be removed. When out in public, this can prove inconvenient if you don’t want to be seen taking it out of your mouth. Your teeth need to be brushed before putting your retainer back in place. Food particles and certain drinks can stain your retainer and your teeth. You can also increase your risk of bad breath and cavities when you fail to brush.


The cost of invisible retainers is often much more than traditional braces. The actual cost will depend on how severe your teeth are out of place and how long you will need to wear them.

Advantages Of Braces

Suitable For All Treatments

Braces can be used for all cases, including severe cases. This is a powerful method of moving your teeth into the desired positions.


Braces often work faster to realign a patient’s teeth than retainers. They offer more force to move teeth more efficiently and get better results.

Disadvantages Of Braces


Many people do not like the look of braces. They can be self-conscious about the look of them in social settings.

Brushing Is Tedious

The ability to brush and floss your teeth will be more tedious with braces. Follow your orthodontist’s instructions for cleaning your teeth to avoid teeth staining and decay.

Food Restrictions

You may not be able to eat certain foods that are too hard or sticky. These types of foods may bend or break your braces and lead to a longer treatment plan.

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Kevin Schultz is a professional journalist with over 15 years of writing and media experience. He is a full-time contributor to the Themocracy Online News Blog and his insightful writing has been enjoyed by thousands.