Orthodontic treatment straightens your teeth to look and work better. This can be done with LightForce braces or Invisalign. However, your treatment is not over when your braces come off. The next step is retention – keeping your teeth in their new position. This is accomplished by using retainers.
While there are different types of retainers available, our team at Walt Orthodontics would like to share more information with you on permanent retainers. Permanent retainers are recommended by us to prevent your teeth from shifting or moving back to their original place.
Permanent retainers are also known by other names, including bonded retainers, lingual wire, or fixed retainers. They are often bonded or glued to the back surface of the lower teeth.
Benefits of a Permanent Retainer
As the name suggests, a permanent retainer is meant to permanently stay on your teeth. There are a few benefits to permanent retainers including the following:
- You don’t have to worry about taking it on and off
- Only you know its there, since it is placed behind your teeth
- Since it is hidden you don’t need to feel self-conscious about wearing it in public
- You also don’t have to worry about losing it
Drawbacks of a Permanent Retainer
- Only keeps your front teeth in position; all the back teeth are free to move
- Requires significant oral hygiene measures to adequately floss teeth
- Can feel bulky and irritate tongue
- Can break unknowingly and teeth may shift
Permanent retainers are more commonly done on the lower teeth as opposed to the upper. Upper permanent retainers tend to break much more as there is often not enough space in the bite to allow for one.
Life with a Permanent Retainer
We recommend cleaning your retainer when you clean your teeth. Brush and floss as you normally would and pay extra attention to the area around your retainer too.
Here are some tips from Healthline on flossing with a permanent retainer:
- Use a 6-inch piece of floss along with a floss threader to shimmy the floss between two of your front bottom teeth, taking one end of your floss between your fingers and the other end in the threader.
- When the floss is between the teeth, gently raise and lower the floss along the sides of the teeth from their tops to where they meet the gums. Don’t be too forceful or you may cut or injure your gums.
- When you’re finished with one set of teeth, move the floss back up to the top of the teeth and slide the floss over to the next set of teeth.
- Pull the floss down between the next set of teeth and repeat step 2 to clean between them.
- Repeat these steps until you’ve flossed between each of the teeth that are secured by your permanent retainer.
If your permanent retainer wire breaks off or becomes debonded, it is best to contact us to schedule an appointment to fix it.
Treatment for Everyone
Whether you are curious about orthodontic treatment – including LightForce Braces and Invisalign, or retainers and retention, we can help! We love making a difference to the oral health and confidence of our Maple-Vaughan-Thornhill community. Everyone is welcome, all ages too! Schedule your free consultation in person or virtually to get started!