3 Secrets: Can a Retainer Fix a Gap (Expectations vs. Reality)

There is a lot of confusion among the people about the retainers and I have seen people asking that can a retainer fix a gap? Or do retainers close gaps after braces.

In this article, I will clarify everything about retainers.

I am sure you might have a gap between your front teeth and so you are wondering about different ways to fix it.

So first let me clear your questions and then I will explain what Retainers are, what retainer does, and the types of retainers.

Can a Retainer fix a Gap?

No, a retainer cannot fix a gap, it helps in holding the teeth and won’t allow them to move.

Though there are a few different types of retainers like Invisalign that may help you fix the gap.

We will discuss that below in the types of retainers.

Lots of people ask that will putting your retainer in your mouth close gaps? So retainers will stop the movement of teeth to avoid the gap.

Retainers are generally used once the braces are removed so that the retainer can maintain the misaligned teeth and gap fixed by braces. Your orthodontist will suggest and give you a retainer to wear after removing the braces.

Why Retainers are Important

Retainers are really important and help in keeping your unaligned gap between the teeth from shifting.

Can a retainer fix a gap between the front teeth, as I said NO?

But why still it’s so important, to check these facts about a retainer.

  • Helps in holding the teeth from moving.
  • Once braces are removed, there are chances of a gap again and here retainers come to work to stop this movement.
  • Your perfect tooth shape and smile will be maintained.
  • Most retainers are temporary but in some cases, you need to have them permanently.

Due to the growth of the body and teeth, gaps can occur again between the teeth and here retainers become important to stop these gaps.

Though your orthodontist will guide you with this but reason I am sharing all this information is just that you should clear your doubts.

Types of Retainers

As we are discussing retainers here, let’s discuss the different types of retainers.

I am sharing the major 3 categories of Retainers

Can a Retainer fix a gap or not

Do retainers close gaps or not, as I said above no but there are still few retainers that can help to close gaps.

But honestly speaking it will take a very long time like a couple of years.

However, the retainer will be either a temporary or a permanent type. There are commonly 3 types of retainers.


Fixed wired retainer or also called bonded retainer is a permanent retainer that is bonded to your front teeth.

Every retailer has its own advantages and disadvantages and so fixed retainer has well.

Advantages of Fixed Retainer
  • It’s not visible because of the thin wire which is glued from the back of the teeth.
  • No one would know that you are wearing a retainer while speaking, laughing, and smiling.
  • Perfect for the people who don’t want to remove retainers every time they eat, brush, or floss.
Disadvantages of Fixed Retainer
  • Since these fixed-wired are glued in the front teeth, you cannot bite from the front 6 teeth. Biting solid foods like apples and carrots from the front tooth may break the retainer.
  • Because of the thin wire and less visibility, it’s hard to clean the retainer.
  • You may need to visit your orthodontist for a retainer check and cleaning.


Plastic retainers are removable retainers and are made of high-quality transparent plastic.

These retainers are also less visible and have more flexibility as you can remove them at any time.

Advantages of Plastic Retainer
  • More Flexible and can be removed whenever you want to.
  • Since it can be removed, you can properly clean it which makes it more hygienic.
  • You can freely eat and brush your teeth.
Disadvantages of Plastic Retainer
  • As it’s a removable retainer it might not be comfortable all the time removing it while eating or brushing.
  • If you miss removing it while eating or brushing there is a chance of breakage.
  • Depending on most the plastic cleaner you need to keep them in water when not in use. Your retainer may break if not stored in water.


This is again a removable orthodontic wire retainer made with a combination of plastic and thin wire.

So as it’s removable you can easily remove and clean retainers and properly brush your teeth or eat to maintain good hygiene.

Now coming to the point that can a retainer fix a gap?

Such retainers have a hard grip on teeth and may help to fill the gap but with a long time duration.



Hopefully, I made clear your expectations with the reality that “can a retainer fix a gap or not”.

However, retainer plays an important role after the gap is fixed as without retainer gap will appear again.

So it’s better to visit your orthodontist for proper treatment of teeth gaps.

If you have already done that then you can get some good retainers that suit you the best from the above option.

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