Check out our new website! Here you can find our office hours, downloadable forms, blogs, and take a virtual tour of our office. It’s always nice to be able to do as much research as you can before choosing a doctor to meet your orthodontic needs. Feel free to browse our site. It’s also a good idea to talk to our patients, both current and former, and find out how pleased they have been with their treatment. We look forward to meeting you and giving you the best orthodontic experience possible!!!
Pros and Cons of Fixed (Glued-in, Permanent) Retainers
We have people come in to our office from time to time asking about replacement of permanent (fixed or glued-in) retainers. Sometimes, they ask about having them removed. Sometimes, people ask if we recommend them. Other times, people demand fixed retainers for a child who refuses to wear his or her removable retainers. So, what’s the deal?
Our office recommends the placement of permanent (fixed) retainers in patients who had extreme crowding in the lower anterior (front) teeth prior to treatment. Why? These teeth are the most likely to relapse over the years and we want your treatment results to last for a lifetime! However, if the lower front teeth were not particularly crowded, other forms of retention that are not glued in are recommended. This is primarily because fixed retainers tend to come loose if a patient eats something too hard and then the teeth can move. (Yes, even if you’ve had the retainers in place for years!) Also, they require flossing underneath the wire with a floss threader to keep them clean.
If you or your child currently have a fixed (glued-in) retainer, make sure that your dentist or dental hygienist is checking it regularly. They can spot potential problems such as weakening composite (the glue that holds the retainer in place) or gingival (gum) problems that can lead to sensitivity, decay or bone-loss.
So what do we recommend? We have had a lot of success with removable clear retainers. They should be worn all the time, except while eating, for the first month and then, 8 to 12 hours a night after that. After about 6 to 12 months of wearing these retainers every night, the teeth are stable enough to only need the retainers in place about one night a week. We recommend continuing to wear your retainers one night a week for as long as you can. This is the best way to keep your smile perfect!