A fixed retainer is a removable appliance that is bonded or cemented to the roof of your mouth to prevent your teeth from shifting after your orthodontic treatment is complete. It accomplishes this by adhering your molars to the bone surrounding them so they can’t move. Fixed retainers are most commonly used immediately after braces are removed, but they can also be worn after certain other orthodontic treatments.
How are they made?
Fixed retainers are typically made of wire and acrylic. The wires are bent in a shape that conforms to the arch of your top teeth, so they fit snugly on your teeth. This is then bonded to your upper palate with an adhesive. Some patients will have trouble with their speech at first, but this should clear up within a few weeks as your tongue gets used to the way it needs to touch the retainer.
While a fixed retainer takes a little getting used to, it’s usually not an issue for patients to wear it at night while they sleep. However, you should keep it clean by simply brushing it along with your normal teeth and flossing around it. Your orthodontist will provide you with a care package that includes wax you can use to keep the wire at the top of your teeth from getting irritatingly close to your gum line. Wear your retainer exactly as directed by your dentist so that your treatment will be successful and you won’t need to revisit the office to have anything repaired. Talk to your dentist if you have questions about caring for your fixed retainer!
Types of fixed retainers
There are two types of fixed retainers. The first type is called a Hawley retainer. This is a generic term for a retainer that consists of a plastic device with wires and metal clasps that hold your teeth in place on the roof of the mouth. The other type is called a permanent bonded retainer. This retainer consists of a piece of wire that is permanently secured to the back of your front teeth. This type of retainer is often used for people who are missing teeth and need to have their space restored.
Both types of retainers are durable and long-lasting, but you should still follow your orthodontist’s instructions about how to take care of them and clean them properly. If you fail to take care of your retainer, it may become damaged and require repair. Talk to your dentist about how to properly care for your fixed retainer so that you can maintain your beautiful smile!
How fixed retainers work?
The duration of time that a patient wears their fixed retainer depends on several factors, including the type of appliance used and the individual patient’s needs. A fixed retainer is worn full-time for the first few months and then nightly for several years to maintain results.
Wearing a fixed retainer helps prevent relapse of the treatment results. Relapse can occur if the patient does not wear the retainer as instructed. Retainers can also be lost or broken over time, and patients should make sure to have their removable retainer with them at all times. A beautiful, straight smile requires consistent maintenance. Having the fixed retainer in place for the right amount of time gives patients the best chance to enjoy their new smile for years to come.
To find out more about the dental services offered at our dental practice, call (801)- 269-0303 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 155 E 13800 S Ste F4, Draper, UT, Draper 84020.