If you’ve recently completed your orthodontic treatment with braces, you might be faced with a crucial decision to maintain that perfect smile. One option your orthodontist may offer is a permanent retainer, also known as a bonded or fixed retainer. We’ve put together the information below to explain what a permanent retainer is and why it could be your ideal choice.
A permanent retainer is a small metal bar or wire affixed to the back of your teeth, designed to hold them in their newly aligned position. It is an excellent post-braces solution to prevent your teeth from moving back into their old, incorrect positions. Teeth can naturally shift over time, and a permanent retainer helps to combat issues like gapping or crowding, maintaining the beautiful results achieved through orthodontic treatment.
The placement of the bonded retainer is typically on the inside surface of the lower front teeth. This location is strategically chosen because the lower front teeth have the shortest, smallest roots, making them more prone to shifting over time due to their smaller foundations. By having a bonded retainer in place, you can be confident that your teeth will remain stable and aligned.
The permanent retainer offers significant advantages over removable retainers. Once it is fixed to your teeth, it remains in place, and you won’t have to worry about wearing and fixing the retainer daily. It’s a perfect fit for individuals who prefer a hassle-free approach to post-braces care.
Furthermore, a permanent retainer is discreet since it is placed on the inner side of your teeth, making it virtually invisible to others. You can maintain it easily through normal oral hygiene practices and a little extra attention during flossing.
But who should consider getting a permanent retainer? The answer is simple: anyone who wants to ensure that their teeth stay in the ideal position achieved through orthodontic treatment. Teeth may continue to shift as part of the natural ageing process, and wearing a retainer is essential to stabilise them in their new position. The retainer also allows your jaw bone, gums, and surrounding structures to adapt to the changes, solidifying the results of your orthodontic treatment.
When you opt for a fixed retainer, it is custom-made to fit your teeth perfectly. The attachment process is painless, although you may need a few days to get used to its presence in your mouth. Fortunately, the retainer is hidden behind your teeth, so there’s no need to worry about it being visible when you smile.
Like any orthodontic appliance, proper care is vital to maintain the health of your teeth and retainer. Regular brushing and flossing are essential to prevent plaque or tartar buildup around the fixed retainer, which can lead to tooth decay if neglected. Your orthodontist in Chorley will provide hygiene and maintenance advice to help you clean your teeth without damaging the retainer.
If you’re considering a permanent retainer, consult your orthodontist in Chorley for personalised advice and care to maintain your smile for a lifetime. Contact us at Chorley Orthodontics on 01257 438767 to discuss your journey to a straighter smile for life.