After you’ve finished using Invisalign or Damon Braces to achieve a natural smile, you may be wondering what comes next. Keeping your current smile is a lifelong adventure that requires wearing a retainer.
Throughout your life, your teeth are shifting position. This process is known as mesial drift. Without proper retention, mesial drift can undo all of your hard work. Wearing a retainer is like a cast that holds your teeth in an ideal spot.
There are many types of retainers. A permanent retainer — also known as a bonded retainer, wire retainer, or fixed retainer — is like a cast that holds your teeth in place. The wire is typically attached to the back of the front teeth, behind your two lower cuspids.
Sometimes permanent retainers are used in conjunction with removable retainers to preserve your smile.
Some specific benefits of permanent retainers are:
At Black Orthodontics, if we recommend a bonded retainer, we always do an accompanying removable retainer that sits on top of it. This is because we want both the uppers and the lowers to stay in sync. Using both appliances helps retain your stunning new smile.
Although your bonded retainer is “permanent,” that does not mean it is a permanent fix. First off, you need to watch what you eat while wearing your retainer. Without taking special care, it can pop off. This means patients with bonded retainers will have more dietary restrictions.
If your retainer does break, make an appointment to visit our office right away. A broken retainer can’t do its job, and every moment without a retainer puts your hard work at risk. Call us as soon as possible for this type of emergency to help minimize long-term damage.
Do not try to fix the problem yourself. Bending or moving a broken bonded retainer may wind up doing additional damage to your retainer, teeth, or mouth. Let the broken retainer sit against your teeth, and do not disrupt it. If you have a removable retainer, put it in your mouth until your appointment.
A bonded retainer requires proper cleaning. Everyone has a saliva duct beneath their tongue. When you have a wire in that area, it becomes a magnet for unwanted plaque and tartar build-up. Patients with bonded retainers will need to add some extra steps to their cleaning routine. Without proper cleaning, the build-up of plaque and tartar may cause your retainer to come loose during dental cleanings.
Brushing with a permanent retainer is a simple process. Brush with your usual brushing routine but take extra care to ensure that the bristles reach the areas between the teeth. Giving the appliance itself a gentle scrub will help maintain a clean and healthy smile.
Flossing also requires a few new steps. Tools like floss threaders can help make flossing easier. You can still clean your teeth without a floss threader. A floss threader is a cost-effective investment that can help improve your retainer experience.
Here’s how to floss with a permanent retainer:
You’ll need to continue avoiding sticky, hard, or overly sugary food. These can become trapped in your retainer and can wind up doing extreme damage. Avoiding certain foods is an important part of lasting health.
Have a question about caring for your permanent retainer? Schedule an in-person or virtual appointment now.
At Black Orthodontics, it’s our mission to make sure you enjoy a lifetime of big smiles. Your original orthodontic treatment fee covers everything you will need for your smile journey, including one retainer set and one year of office visits after your date of completion.
In most cases, the patient can choose their retention style. However, there are some cases where Dr. Black recommends one treatment over the other. If Dr. Black recommends a permanent retainer, then you do not have to worry about any additional out-of-pocket expenses.
However, sometimes patients want a permanent retainer, but Dr. Black has not recommended it. In that case, patients will have to pay an additional treatment fee.
Whether you receive Damon Braces or Invisalign, you can count on an affordable treatment experience with Black Orthodontics. Our patients enjoy countless other perks like flexible virtual or in-person appointments.
Finishing your orthodontic treatment is only the beginning of your smile journey. Proper retainer wear will prevent you from relapse after treatment. Taking care of your permanent retainer will help prepare you for any bumps in your smile journey.
For over 30 years, Dr. Black has helped people achieve the smile of their dreams. There’s never been a better time to start your path towards a healthy smile. Get started now by calling us to schedule your free in-person or virtual smile assessment.