What Are Permanent Retainers and How Do They Work?

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You may have heard permanent retainers go by a few different names; bonded retainers or fixed retainers are also commonly used phrases for this type of retainer. A permanent or fixed retainer is a thin piece of metal wire that is attached to the back of your teeth. Permanent retainers are not visible when you smile, although you will be able to feel the wire on the back side of your teeth. When you choose fixed retainers, your orthodontist will bond your retainer to the back of your teeth using a composite material that is set in place with a special curing light. Permanent retainers can only be removed by a professional dentist. Even after your braces come off, your teeth will naturally shift and move which is why wearing a retainer is so important for people who have worn braces. Proper retainer wear not only prevents your teeth from shifting, but also helps with preventing gaps and even crowding.

Pros & cons of permanent retainers

Permanent retainers may not be for everyone, so it’s important to be well informed about the pros and cons before making a decision. You should always consult with your orthodontist before making any final decisions. One of the best pros about choosing permanent retainers is that you don’t have to worry about forgetting to wear them. Since they’re bonded to your teeth, you can carry on your daily routine without worrying about forgetting to wear your retainer. Since permanent retainers are bonded to the back of your teeth, you also don’t have to worry about having visible metal wires in your mouth post orthodontic appliance removal. Permanent braces also tend to be more comfortable than a traditional removable retainer due to their design. While permanent retainers can be more comfortable, they can also pose a challenge when it comes to dental hygiene. Because the wire is cemented to the back of your teeth, food can become trapped in the wire and can make cleaning teeth challenging for both yourself and dental professionals. Regular brushing and flossing are crucial in maintaining permanent retainers. Permanent retainers are also typically only reserved for the front of your teeth, so they cannot help with maintaining alignment of your side or back teeth.

If you have questions about which kind of retainer is right for you, call the professionals at Orthodontic Specialists of White Plains today.

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