Understanding The Use Of Fixed Retainers After Orthodontic Work

If you are ready to have your braces removed, then you will need a device to keep your teeth in their newly straightened position. In other words, a retainer will be required. While the vast majority of orthodontic patients receive clear retainers, something called a fixed retainer may be suggested instead. Keep reading to learn a little bit about the retainer how it may be beneficial to you.

What Is A Fixed Retainer? 

A fixed or permanent retainer is a device that remains in your mouth after your braces are removed. It is a slender wire that is bonded to the back of the teeth along the bottom dental arch. The retainer is used along the front teeth only. Due to the placement of the device, the fixed device is often used in conjunction with a clear or metal retainer that fits over the upper teeth. 

The fixed device sits directly against the teeth and sits low and close to the gumline. This allows it to remain out of the way when you bite down. 

Fixed or permanent retainers are not actually permanent devices. They are often used for the first six months after the braces are initially removed. Once the teeth are solidly in place and there is a reduced chance of movement, the device may be replaced with a clear retainer worn overnight. 

Keep in mind that the fixed retainer only attaches to the front teeth, so if your back teeth were moved extensively, the device will not prevent them from shifting. Speak with your orthodontist about whether or not the fixed retainers is advisable based on the way your teeth were moved. 

What Are The Benefits Of The Retainer?

The main benefit of the retainer is the fact that it remains in your mouth 24 hours a day. The teeth cannot and will not shift from their position so that orthodontic adjustments will be retained. The front teeth are the most likely to shift after orthodontic treatments, so the device is able to prevent this common issue.

The fixed retainer cannot be seen by others, so you do not have to feel self-conscious about the device. Also, you can eat and drink with the device secured, unlike with other types of devices. 

Since the retainer does stay in your mouth at all times, tartar will build on and around the metal. Make sure to meet with your dentist for regular cleanings so the calculus can be professionally removed. Also, try not to bite any hard or chewy foods with your front teeth, or you may dislodge the retainer. A new one will then be required.