Top Orthodontist: Braces, Clear Aligners

Bonded Retainer

The day the braces are removed is an exciting day and a huge achievement, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of your orthodontic treatment. To make sure your smile stays straight and the teeth don’t shift back, patients will need to wear a retainer to “retain” the teeth in their new positions. For some patients, a bonded retainer may be the best option.

A bonded retainer is a metal wire that is bonded to the back of the teeth. At Orthodontic Experts, we use these types of retainers on the lower teeth, occasionally on the upper teeth, or in patients who may not comply with wearing removable retainers.

A bonded retainer works to ensure the hard work that was put in while wearing braces doesn’t go to waste. In the first few weeks after the braces are removed, the teeth will have a tendency to relapse or move back to where we started. It is important to wear a retainer to hold teeth in the desired locations. The main part of a bonded retainer is a thin metal wire that is bonded with a dental composite material across the back of the affected teeth.

Bonded retainers are placed on the inside, so they are not visible to everyone. They stay bonded so the chances of losing them is less, and they do not cause any hindrance while eating.

You are allowed to eat anything you want as long as the food does not apply pressure on the retainer. Therefore, try to avoid hard or sticky food because they can wear down the retainer.

The bonded lingual retainers need to be used with care like any other retainers. While brushing your teeth, you need to be slow and careful. The bristles should not brush too hard against it. The teeth should be flossed with care to avoid any debris. Too chewy or hard foods should be avoided to prevent breakdown.

You need to brush twice regularly. And floss at the end of the day because the brush is not able to reach all areas due to the retainer. Be mindful during brushing and flossing, don’t do it in a hurried manner as it can hurt your retainer and gums.

These retainers are often used when our orthodontists at Orthodontic Experts think the teeth are very likely to relapse or the patient such as a young child won’t follow the instructions for using a removable retainer. Although, in some cases these retainers are removed at some point  due to the excess buildup of plaque and tarter or gum irritation; however, most bonded retainers are left in place indefinitely. Here are some bonded retainer pros and cons:

Advantages of Bonded Retainers

Because these retainers are placed only on the back of the front teeth, they are more aesthetically pleasing than any other retainer options. A permanent retainer has these advantages:

  • Complying with instructions and time of wear isn’t a problem.
  • It’s not visible to others.
  • It’s not likely to affect your speech.
  • It can’t be misplaced or lost.
  • It can’t be damaged easily.

Disadvantages of Bonded Retainers

Just like anything, there are also downsides to these retainers. A permanent retainer has these disadvantages:

  • It may be hard to maintain oral hygiene, especially flossing, because you can’t remove it. This can cause tartar and plaque to build up, possibly leading to gum disease.
  • It’s attached, which you may not like.
  • The metal wire might irritate your tongue.

For some patients a permanent retainer cost might seems a bit higher and they can say it’s quite expensive, but remember that it’s meant to keep your teeth straight for decades and help you maintain the beautiful smile you have got after a long period of wearing braces.

A bonded retainer cost can be $250-$500 for one arch and $500-$1,000 for both upper and lower arches.

Bonded retainers aren’t for everyone but for those patients who are ideal candidates; these retainers can be an excellent tool to keep that smile as straight as the day the braces were removed. If you are questioning whether a bonded retainer may be right for you, contact Orthodontic Experts today for more information about permanent retainers! At Orthodontic Experts, we have a team of experienced and qualified orthodontist that can provide professional insight on any questions or concerns you may have with your teeth. You can visit any of our office near you. Schedule a no cost Consultation now!

This information contained on this website is for the purposes of learning more about the different treatment options.

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