Abstract In the past orthodontic band cementation has relied heavily on mechanically retentive cements such as zinc phosphate luting agents. The clinical performance of a glass ionomer cement (GIC), a chemically retentive cement, was evaluated against a conventional zinc phosphate cement (ZP). The recementation values for ZP were significantly higher over a 2-year treatment period than those of GlC. Failures between cement and enamel, and cement and stainless steel were noted for the ZP. Glass ionomer cement had significantly better retentive strength to enamel than to band material. Moisture contamination does not appear to be a problem in orthodontic band cementation with glass ionomer cement.