Keeping Your Perfect Smile In Place: The Role of Fixed Retainers After Braces

Fixed Retainers

You went through months, or even years, of wearing braces to get the straight teeth and beautiful smile you always wanted. However, once the braces come off, your teeth could still shift and relapse into crookedness again if proper retention methods aren’t followed consistently. This is why your orthodontist likely recommends wearing a fixed retainer, especially initially, to serve as “invisible braces” preserving your investment permanently.

What Are Fixed Retainers?

Fixed retainers consist of a thin wire bonded behind your front teeth to keep them from shifting. An orthodontist like those at the 1A Orthodontics Clinic in London applies the wire after removing your braces. The wire connects over your molars on each end to ensure the retainer stays firmly cemented in place indefinitely. You won’t see or feel it once settled onto your teeth.

How Do Fixed Retainers Preserve Your Straight Teeth?

Fixed retainers serve as consistent steady pressure holding teeth exactly where the orthodontist positioned them permanently. Unlike removable options you wear periodically, the fixed retainer works 24/7 to prevent any chance of relapse, spacing or slight shifting over months or years after braces. The wire keeps a solid barrier so teeth cannot slide anywhere, getting “locked in” through bonding adhesive and sculpting closely around the contours of each tooth’s lingual side. This full-span securing power cannot get achieved temporarily with nightly retainers.

Types of Fixed Retainers Available 

Removable retainers only supply part-time reinforcement for limited hours daily. In London, orthodontists like those from 1A Orthodontic Clinic offer permanent fixed retainers for reliable long-term support. Common options include:

  • Single Strand Stainless Steel Wire – Nearly invisible and allows easier flossing under it
  • Multi Strand Stainless Steel Wire – Added strength but harder to access between teeth
  • Clear Polyethylene Fibers – Very hard-to-see aesthetic wires that still retain well
  • Gold or Composite Resin Mixed Wire – Camouflages wire color against teeth further

Benefits of Fixed Retainers for Keeping Your Smile

As a “permanent retainer” solution safeguarding results of your braces or Invisalign treatment, fixed retainers offer immense value through:

  • Stopping All Minor Relapse or Spacing
  • Maintaining Optimal Bite Alignment
  • Lasting Many Years Undisturbed
  • Boosting Oral Health When Combined With Good Hygiene
  • Eliminating Hassle of Removable Retainers
  • Allowing Confident Speaking and Chewing
  • Saving Overall Costs Compared to Relapse Repairs Later

Caring for Your Fixed Retainer 

Fixed lingual retainers keep teeth straightened with minimal recurring effort. You’ll brush normally, taking care around the wire with gentle MOTIONs. Use orthodontic wax temporarily if irritation occurs before your next checkup. Water flossing or proxy brushes make cleaning under the wire easier as well. Avoid chewing extremely hard, sticky foods that could potentially loosen or damage bonding resin. See your London orthodontist like 1A Orthodontics around twice yearly to ensure wires remain fully intact. They’ll replace any cracked adhesive and examine your retention routinely at these visits.

Achieve Long Lasting Smile Confidence

Fixed retainers supply powerful perpetual retention preserving your smile investment from relapse after braces or aligners. Speak to your orthodontist regarding adding one for reliable, invisible teeth straightness support. Consistent fixed retention keeps your smile looking fabulous for all of life’s big events beyond initial orthodontic treatment.

Deciding Between Fixed or Removable Retainers

While fixed retainers offer reliable 24/7 retention, removable retainers still provide value for certain patients. Some key factors in deciding include:

Cost – Fixed retainers tend to cost more upfront for impressions, wire bending and professional bonding, while removable types replace more frequently. Those committed to wearing removable options nightly get effective retention for lower costs typically.

Lifestyle – Those playing contact sports may prefer fixed retainers so mouthguards fit comfortably over them. Removable types also get lost or break more frequently if you lead an active lifestyle.

Commitment – Success with removable plastic retainers depends wholly on your ability to wear the devices consistently every night. Fixed retainers remove forgetfulness or uncertainty from the equation for guaranteed results.

Consult your London 1A orthodontist to weigh the ideal choice based on your budget and lifestyle factors. A combination approach with a fixed retainer supplemented by a removable option works for added security too.

Getting Fixed Retainers Applied Professionally

The process of getting fitted with fixed retainers involves:

Impressions & Fitting – Molds get taken of your freshly aligned teeth in order to fabricate customized retainers contoured to your new smile precisely.

Bonding & Adjustments – At a following visit, your orthodontist cements the wire onto the backs of your front teeth using secure resin adhesive that matches tooth shade. Minor adjustments finalize the comfortable, invisible fit.

Periodic Checkups – You’ll return to your orthodontist around every 6 months so they can ensure your fixed retainer remains fully bonded and properly in place. Quick adhesive replacements or wire adjustments take place if needed.

Proper Precautions to Take

Once fixed retainers get cemented into place, everyday precautions include:

  • Brush Carefully Around the Wire
  • Floss Under the Wire Thoroughly
  • Temporary Use Orthodontic Wax for Any Irritation
  • Avoid Extremely Hard, Sticky, Crunchy or Chewy Foods
  • See Your Orthodontist Semiannually

Following these simple guidelines preserves your fixed retainer for 5-10 years or longer of uninterrupted teeth retention.