Permanent Retainers

Orthodontic Retainers | Protecting Your Investment

Orthodontic treatment is a serious investment that hopefully harbors beneficial life-long results. Keep in mind that orthodontic retainers are meant to keep that investment in place. To be expected, some children have trouble remembering to wear their retainer. We have all heard the story of the kid who accidentally threw his retainer out with his lunch in the cafeteria and had to dig it out of the trash. Yuck! It happens too often that kids forget to wear their retainer, don’t want to wear it, or just plain old lose the orthodontic hardware. This is even common in adults.

How Permanent Retainers Work

Permanent retainers, also known as fixed retainers, may be the best solution for post braces orthodontic maintenance. A thin wire is secured with oral glue or cement to the back of the straightened teeth. It goes virtually unseen and is unobtrusive. In addition, teeth that are not bonded to the fixed retainer have the possibility to shift. Generally, the back teeth are the only ones not bonded, so movement should be minimal. The jaw can grow and adjust until your twenties, so a little repositioning is to be expected. Regardless, fixed retainers have a better long-term result for keeping teeth straight post braces than other retainer options.

A Little Extra Work for a Better Orthodontic Outcome

Young children may still need help flossing around the retainer. This can be a bit tricky, but is do-able with practice and a floss threader. It is important to clean between the teeth and around the fixed retainer. Per usual, you should continue seeing your dentist for regular check-ups.

Though there is the possibility of breaking the fixed retainer wire, your child may be more prone to damaging a removable retainer. That can happen by leaving it in the hot car or accidentally running it in the laundry because they left it in their pocket. This is why orthodontists advise children to always put their removable retainer in its case when it’s not being worn.

Essentially, permanent retainers are a no fuss and patient-friendly solution that parents love. Outside of your child’s routine brushing and flossing, fixed retainers can’t get left in a napkin during lunch or melt on the sidelines while your child plays sports. Plus, studies have shown that your child has a better success rate of keeping those beautiful teeth straight after braces when they have a permanent retainer.

Contact Your Orthodontist

If you have any questions about which retainer is right for you or your child, request an appointment today with your Nashville Orthodontist! Still deciding whether your child needs braces or not? Check out these actual before and after photos from Snodgrass-­King patients. We’d be happy to discuss treatment options and the advantages of permanent retainers.