Are Permanent Retainers the Right Choice for Me?

permanent retainersRetainers are small custom made device you wear after braces are removed. You will typically be given the option of making them permanent or removable.

permanent or fixed retainer is, essentially a thin piece of metal wire attached to the inner side of your teeth that need structural help. The small metal wire is bonded to your teeth using glue.  This helps hold your teeth in place so that they don’t revert back to how they looked before braces.

Your dentist will typically advise you to use a removable retainer for the upper teeth and use a permanent retainer for the lower teeth. Fixed retainers are more convenient and are becoming more popular. They have many many benefits but how do they work?

How Do Permanent Retainers Work?

A permanent retainer, also known as a bonded retainer or fixed retainer, is a thin metal bar or wire that holds your teeth where they are. It is fixed to the back side of your teeth to help hold them in place after braces.

The glue is known as bonding material and is used to attach the retainer wire to your teeth. Once the glue is set, it’s not coming out unless something goes wrong or you want to have it removed.

Many people discover that once their braces are removed, their teeth begin to shift back to their previous position or start to become misaligned. To keep them in their new position, your dentist will need to restrict their movement with one or both types of retainers.

How Much Do Permanent Retainers Cost?

The fee for permanent retainers are typically covered in the overall procedure and charges of standard braces.

You can expect to be charged for replacing damaged or lost retainers. Each dental office has their own prices, so expect the cost to be anywhere between $150 to $1000 if you need to get a replacement.

The Benefits of Removable Retainers.

  • Simple Cleaning – Maintenance is easy, you simply soak them in a cleaning liquid and wash them with water.
  • Maintenance and oral hygiene – You simply take them off before brushing or flossing.
  • Removable – Easy to remove for eating and chatting.
  • Colorful – You can typically choose different colors and patterns, if that’s something you like.
  • Better for upper teeth – Fixed retainers on upper teeth are simply better and are at lowers risk to damage than at the bottom.

Some Benefits Of Permanent Retainers.

  • Easy to use – No need to take your permanent retainer on and off.
  • Simple cleaning – Very easy to take care of. You simply brush as normal and floss with the recommended tools.
  • No fear of losing it – They are attached directly to your teeth, so it would be very difficult to lose them.
  • Minimal chance of damage – They don’t leave your mouth, so thee is a low chance of breaking them.
  • Minor speech change – There is very minimal speech interference when compared to removable counterparts.
  • Unnoticeable – They are very hard to see because they are placed on the back side of  your teeth.

Need More Information?

Permanent retainers are a convenient option for holding the teeth in their new positions for the rest of your life. Discuss your options with your dentist or orthodontist so that you can decide what is best for you.

My take: Short term (a few years maximum) is acceptable if this is an option you want. However, ultimately, use a removable retainer. Or better yet, address why the teeth are shifting if not held in place by any retainer, fixed or removable.