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Everything you need to know about permanent retainer


Orthodontists declare that the use of a permanent retainer is the best way to maintain tooth alignment after proper medical treatment. For many decades the fixed bonded retainers are routinely left in place. Your orthodontist suggests a retainer after completing an orthodontic treatment to align and straighten your teeth. To keep your teeth in place after using braces, retainer use is necessary because braces results may not last long.   

Purpose of using a permanent retainer

The treatment of orthodontics to align and straighten teeth was found years ago, but the outcomes of this treatment have never been long-lasting. The orthodontists worked to create a retention solution to make results more permanent.

In early times removable appliances were designed to fit in your teeth. As needed to maintain the aesthetic of their teeth, patients could take the retainers in and out.

But nowadays, orthodontists use retainers that can’t be:

  1. Removed they are fixed retainers that stay on your teeth.
  2. For the purpose of not moving back your teeth into the previous position, permanent retainers are used, and more importantly,
  3. You don’t have to put back retainers in your mouth.   

Structure of Permanent retainer

A permanent retainer is available by:

  1. fixed retainer  
  2. bonded retainer.

 It contains a metal wire that holds your teeth at the aligned position, and after orthodontic treatment, it prevents them from moving.

Typically, it is used after you remove your braces and your teeth are aligned nicely. A retainer helps to prevent issues such as:

  1. crowding
  2. gapping

The single metal wire of permanent retainer with strong fiber fixed makes a special bonding agent for your teeth. This wire with string fiber keeps your teeth in a fixed position.

The function of a retainer

Orthodontic treatment relay on the use of retainers. They hold the teeth in the position where we placed them during treatment. After the treatment, the teeth have a natural tendency to move, more importantly, in the direction of their natural position. This phenomenon is known as relapse.

Permanent retainers used:

  1. To save your time,
  2. hard work,
  3. money on this treatment,
  4. not become waste, the retainer’s purpose is to keep relapse from occurring.

Most patients don’t use retainers properly; as a result, their teeth shift to their original position. 

What should patients do if their Permanent retainer has broken?

In case your permanent retainer broke:

  1. You should visit orthodontic experts as soon as possible to get it fixed.
  2. You will have the option to replace it or get it removed.

Another option use may be to get removable once, so your permanent one doesn’t break again. 

In case your retainer breaks at some point:

  1. Immediately inspect the damage;
  2. If the wire is poking out, causing pain, part of the wire has got loose, and create discomfort, you should visit your Orthodontic expert to get it fixed the damage. 

The permanent retainers are like having braces you should avoid these types of foods:

  1. gummy,
  2. hard, and
  3. sticky foods.

What should patients do if breakage of the retainer causes damage?

You never want your bonded retainer to break any more than it already has; if your retainer cut inside of your cheek or cut your tongue, to prevent the infection, help the cut heal by using warm salt water to rinse your mouth.  

How to floss with a permanent retainer?

Flossing is a necessary step to keep your teeth clean with a permanent retainer. In the form of a chord, floss is a thin filament.

Following the steps, you follow for flossing your teeth:

1. For each individual space, take a chord of around 18 to 20 inches long for all the spaces.

2. Between the space of your teeth, slide the tip, move it in, and then out the chord gently between your teeth.

3. So, keep one important thing in mind you should not slide against the gum; in this case, the force can damage them.

4. Just remove all the food particles between the teeth, and then follow the same steps for the next space.

5. It consumes one minute of your day once you are doing it daily.     

Useful products for cleaning retainers

The most natural and simple products to clean retainers are

  1. dish soap,
  2. baking soda with water,
  3. white vinegar, and
  4. hydrogen peroxide with water

To apply these products, you must use a soft toothbrush.

Commercial retainers cleaning products are also available in the market

1. Ultrasonic denture cleaners:

Some small machines used sound waves and vibrations to clean the retainers.

2. Tablets and crystals:

The other thing is cleaning crystals and tablets used to clean up the retainers, but some studies showed that using chemical and crystal cleaning tablets after brushing the retainers with a soft toothbrush did not reduce the number of bacteria between the teeth.

3. Castile soap:

Another product made from vegetable oil known as castile soap has been recommended for cleaning the retainers. 

Is it possible to get a permanent retainer for top teeth?

Yes, gaining a fixed lingual retainer for your upper teeth is achievable. However, occasionally this is not as achievable due to the patient’s overbite that would compel the lower teeth to hit the verbal surface of the upper teeth and force the retainer to come off. This is common for many patients with a serious bite. Depending on the condition, the upper retainer will not cover all the teeth but four or six front teeth. A retainer maintains your teeth back from moving after they’ve been settled with braces.

Permanent retainer Vs removable retainer

Permanent retainerRemovable retainer
The permanent retainers stay wired to your teeth consistently.The removable retainers can be removed.
the permanent ones needed to floss regularly for one minute.The removable ones didn’t need floss regularly.
The success rate of permanent retainers is higher.The success rate of removable retainers is lower.
A permanent retainer is invisible because it’s placed behind the teeth.A removable retainer is visible because it’s placed in Infront of the teeth
It is often thinner and more comfortable.It is often thick and un-comfortable

Pros and Cons of the permanent retainer

There are a few advantages of using permanent retainers:

  • They are ideal when relapse occurs.
    • These retainers are not to be taken out before eating food, which saves time putting them back and taking them off every day.

There are a few disadvantages of permanent retainers such as:

  • The wire can trap the food, make it difficult to clean the teeth, trap other debris, and increase dental problems in the case when you don’t floss and brush your teeth every day.
    • At some point, you have to replace them when they become damaged or wear down over time.
    • They can’t help keep the back and side teeth aligned, only they fixed the front teeth. 

Cost of the permanent retainer

A permanent retainer cost can be up to $500 for one. But in case you get a retainer on your both lower and upper teeth, it cost around $1,000. For some patients, the cost of a permanent retainer might be high, and they say it’s quite pricey, but remember it keeps your teeth straight for years and is helpful to maintain a good smile you got after wearing braces for a long period.   



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