Retainers – Permanent Benefits
SO MANY PEOPLE know what it’s like to accidentally toss a retainer in the trash after lunch. Retainers can be expensive, so losing one is never good. Luckily, removable retainers aren’t the only option for keeping your teeth straight after braces!
What Are Bonded Retainers?
A fixed retainer, also known as a permanent or bonded retainer, is a wire that is glued to the back side of the teeth. Dr. Barakat fits the wire to the patient’s teeth, placing it just right so it’s not as visible when smiling or talking, and attaches it with dental bonding or cement. Some are cemented to each tooth, while others are only cemented to a couple of teeth at each end of the retainer wire.
Typically, bonded retainers are only placed on the backs of the front six lower teeth, though sometimes they go on the backs of the upper teeth, and some people even have them just for the two front teeth to keep a gap from re-forming. Fixed retainers are intended to stay in place indefinitely. If they break or come loose, it’s important to go back to an orthodontist to get them repaired immediately, before your teeth begin to shift.
How Permanent Retainers Compare
Now that you know what fixed retainers are, let’s look at some of the things that set them apart from removable retainers. The most obvious benefit to fixed retainers is that they stay in your mouth 24/7, which means you can’t lose them during lunch! It also means they’re continuously keeping your teeth in an ideal position. Because they are so small, they tend to be much more comfortable than removable retainers. The best part is that nobody will see them!
Cleaning And Maintenance
For all their advantages, fixed retainers can be tricky to keep clean. Food can get stuck in them and plaque can build up around them very easily and calcify into tartar, but they’re not so easy to clean out because the wire gets in the way of flossing. You can solve this problem with floss-threaders or a water flosser/ Waterpik (TM).
Take a look at this helpful video for tips on flossing around a permanent retainer:
You also might want to be careful when eating hard, crunchy foods, because they could break the wire or pop the cement loose from your teeth. If this happens, make sure to come see us as soon as possible!
We Want Your Questions!
If you have any questions about retainers, please don’t hesitate to ask us! In the meantime, keep up your brushing and flossing!
We love our patients!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.<< Back to News