Pros and Cons of fixed retainers

If you have had braces, chances are you have a fixed ortho retainer on your front teeth. 

Fixed retainers are a great way to keep your teeth in position after braces. Our jaws continue to grow into early adulthood, with our lower jaw growing forward. Without a retainer, it is very likely that the lower front teeth will get crowded again. This growth tends to slow at 30 years but never fully stops.

There are advantages and disadvantages of having fixed retainers. Read more below on maintaining optimal oral health and alternative options. 


It’s not all good news…

Along with the advantages of a fixed retainer comes a major disadvantage – keeping the teeth clean! We commonly see a buildup of plaque and tartar around fixed wires. The long term effect of this is bad news for the gum and bone that support the teeth.
The bottom line is that a long term buildup of plaque and tartar leads to the gums being inflamed, receding and can result in bone loss around the teeth, ultimately with the teeth becoming loose.


What can I do?
Keep your wire pristine clean! 
There are many specialized products to help you clean around your wire. The decision about which to use depends on your mouth and preference. We recommended cleaning around this area every night, along with the rest of your teeth. For anyone with fixed appliances we also recommended frequent professional cleanings with our hygienists, Sheila and Stephanie.


Do I have another option?
The short answer is yes!

If you are having difficulty keeping your front teeth clean, you could choose to remove your fixed retainer. Keep in mind, your teeth may move. If you are concerned about that, we recommend considering removable night-time retainers. We are a provider of Vivera retainers which are a clear retainer alternative.

If you would like to know more, book a free consultation or ask us at your next appointment.