Fixed Retainers for a More Radiant Smile

Retainers and a toothbrush over a tableDentists use a bonded lingual retainer appliance, supplied by firms such as, to maintain teeth previously treated with an orthodontic treatment like braces to prevent unwanted movement.

Also called fixed retainers, these are braided, stainless steel wires placed permanently at the back (lingual) surfaces of the front teeth with a composite resin. Permanent in this instance means you cannot remove the retainer without the help of a doctor.

Wearing a fixed retainer for a year without removal right after an orthodontic therapy ensures maximum retention of the correction made by an orthodontic procedure.

The Two Designs of Fixed Retainers

The two designs of fixed retainers are bicuspid-to-bicuspid and cuspid-to-cuspid. Dentists use a bicuspid-to-bicuspid design for hypodivergent patients or those with horizontal and normal skeletal patterns. It connects the anterior and posterior segments together to prevent a deep bite relapse.

A cuspid-to-cuspid design, on the other hand, allows the incisors and cuspids to erupt slightly in an open bite malocclusions. This finds use for those with vertical skeletal patterns also referred to as hyperdivergent patients.

Both designs use a braided stainless steel wire. The only difference between the two is that dentists bond the retainers from cuspid-to-cuspid for hyperdivergent patients, but for hypodivergent patients, the wire bonds from the first bicuspid.

Benefits of Fixed Retainers

A fixed retainer can prevent shifting and overcrowding of teeth and even act as a bridge between each tooth and a splint when teeth suffer damage. When kept on for the prescribed period, it can keep your teeth properly aligned for a lifetime.

It is also more pleasing in appearance than removable retainers as it attaches to the back of the teeth. Fixed retainers are most beneficial for patients who may have a problem remembering or do not have the discipline to put their retainers back on after eating.

An orthodontic treatment is neither cheap nor easy, so it is only normal that you would want the results to last a lifetime. Retainers are meant to ensure that you maintain the results of an orthodontic procedure properly but, of course, you also need to take care of your retainers whether they are removable or fixed.