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bonded or fixed retainer across lingual surfaces of lower teeth

Everything You Need to Know About Fixed Retainers

After wearing braces or clear retainers for orthodontic treatment, all patients must wear a retainer to keep their teeth in proper alignment. Some patients feel frustrated to learn that retainers should be worn indefinitely, even if only overnight. To make this requirement hassle-free and worry-free, fixed retainers present a great option. 

At Harmony Orthodontics in Tomball, Dr. Wint Tun and our team can answer all your questions about retainers. If you’re considering orthodontics, need a retainer, or need a replacement retainer, call us at 832-699-3683.

In today’s blog, you’ll learn about:

  • Retainer options
  • Fixed retainers
  • Orthodontic relapse
  • Scheduling your visit

Options for Orthodontic Retainers

Orthodontic patients have a variety of options for retainers, including different styles for the upper and lower arches. Here’s a brief description of the choices:

  • Fixed retainers: As the name implies, fixed retainers are non-removable. 
  • Removable retainers: These appliances can be removed for cleaning, eating, or special occasions.
  • Clear plastic retainers: Also called Essix retainers, these are plastic aligners that fit over teeth.
  • Vivera by Invisalign: These are like Invisalign retainers, but thicker.
  • Positioners: Rubber aligners fit over teeth like clear plastic retainers.

About Fixed Retainers

Under the category of fixed retainers, patients can opt for lingual or bonded styles. We affix lingual retainers to the back of teeth, and they usually extend between the canines. Bonded retainers can span across teeth or be attached to each tooth, as pictured. 

Why choose a fixed retainer?

With a fixed retainer, patients do not have to worry about losing the appliance or forgetting to wear it. Though they may need periodic adjustments, fixed retainers can last many years. If your orthodontic treatment was complex or you’re concerned about losing or forgetting to wear your retainer, a fixed appliance may suit you well.

How do you take care of a fixed retainer?

Use a traditional or electric toothbrush with fluoridated toothpaste and brush all teeth surfaces, as well as the retainer, for two minutes. Angling the toothbrush can be more effective, and don’t neglect brushing at the gumline. 

For flossing, try using a floss threader, interdental toothbrush, or water flosser. Be sure to floss once a day, at a minimum. Flossing after meals will keep your retainer clean and help freshen your breath.

Plan to visit your orthodontist for retainer checks. Dr. Tun can identify whether a fixed retainer needs to be adjusted or replaced. 

Orthodontic Relapse

If you choose not to wear a retainer or don’t regularly wear your retainer, your teeth could relapse. This means they could move out of proper alignment. Orthodontic relapse can appear as teeth crowding, new gaps emerging between teeth, a change in the way upper and lower teeth fit together, or a tight sensation. 

If your teeth relapse, you may be eligible for short-term orthodontic treatment to realign teeth. A fixed retainer will ensure that you don’t fall victim to relapse again. 

Schedule Your Visit Now!

Thinking about straightening your teeth? Have questions about retainers? Call Harmony Orthodontics in Tomball today at 832-699-3683 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tun. We are accepting new patients and look forward to meeting you!

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