Orthodontic treatment is a common practice in dentistry, which involves the use of braces or aligners to straighten teeth and improve bite alignment. After the braces or aligners are removed, an orthodontic retainer may be recommended to help maintain the new position of the teeth. There are two types of orthodontic retainers, removable and permanent. In this article, we will focus on permanent retainers and what you need to know about them.
What Is a Permanent Retainer?
A permanent or lingual retainer is a fixed metal wire attached to the back of your teeth. It is usually made of stainless steel or a nickel-titanium alloy and is bonded to the teeth using dental adhesive. The wire runs along the inside of your teeth, from one canine to the other, and is not visible from the front.
Advantages of a Permanent Retainer
One of the main advantages of a permanent retainer is that it is fixed in place, so you don’t have to worry about losing or misplacing it. This makes it easier to maintain the position of your teeth, especially if you tend to forget to wear your removable retainer. Another advantage is that it is discreet, as it is hidden behind your teeth and is not visible when you smile.
Disadvantages of a Permanent Retainer
One of the main disadvantages of a permanent retainer is that it can be challenging to clean. Food particles and plaque can get trapped between the wire and your teeth, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. It is essential to brush and floss regularly and to use interdental brushes or water flossers to clean between the wire and your teeth.
Another disadvantage is that a permanent retainer can be uncomfortable for some people, especially in the first few weeks after it is attached. You may experience some soreness and irritation in your tongue and cheeks, but this usually disappears after a few days. If the discomfort persists, you should contact your orthodontist.
Maintenance of a Permanent Retainer
Maintaining good oral hygiene is important to ensure that your permanent retainer remains effective and comfortable. You should brush and floss your teeth regularly and use interdental brushes or water flossers to clean between the wire and your teeth. Your orthodontist may also recommend using mouthwash to help kill bacteria in your mouth.
It is also important to avoid certain foods that can damage or loosen the wire, such as hard and sticky foods. You should also avoid biting on pencils, fingernails, and other hard objects, as this can damage the wire.
If your permanent retainer does become damaged or loose, you should contact your orthodontist immediately. They may need to repair or replace the wire to ensure your teeth remain in their correct position.
A permanent retainer is a fixed metal wire attached to the back of your teeth to help maintain the position of your teeth after orthodontic treatment. It is discreet and easy to maintain but can be challenging to clean and uncomfortable for some people. To ensure that your permanent retainer remains effective and comfortable, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene and avoid certain foods and habits that can damage the wire. If you have any concerns about your permanent retainer or your orthodontic treatment, you should contact your orthodontist.
Turn to Solarte Orthodontics if you need an orthodontic retainer. We also provide comprehensive orthodontic treatments, including braces and Invisalign, to help you achieve a beautiful and healthy smile. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and start your journey toward a confident and healthy smile.