Thursday, August 02, 2012

My Glued in Retainer

In our office,  bonded (glued in) retainers are used for certain hard to hold orthodontic corrections.  These include lower front teeth, spaces between upper front teeth and teeth with weak gum and bone support.  

Bonded retainers are not indestructible!  So we reminder our patients and anyone who might have this type of retainer to be careful chewing on hard and very sticky things.  

              It can be more difficult to brush these the teeth with the retainer on.  Make sure you clean all around and remember to floss.  It will be harder to floss with the retainer but you can always use superfloss or floss threaders to get around the bonded retainer.  

                Every night when you brush your teeth check your retainer.  If any part of the retainer comes loose from your tooth, even if part is still attached, make an appointment at the orthodontist as soon as possible.  These bonded retainers are only for holding teeth where they are and do not straighten teeth.  If your retainer comes loose and teeth move or shift a different active appliance will be required to realign your teeth and there will be a charge.  

           As any other dental appliance regular monitoring of this retainer is necessary; either by your orthodontist or by your primary dentist at regular check ups or cleanings.  After a number of years the dentist or orthodontist can remove this glued in retainer and replace it with a removable retainer that can be worn just at night.  (There is a charge for a new retainer)

               In our office after the removal of your active orthodontic appliances and two years of retention office visits we let our patients go on an as needed basis.  This means that we no require them to come in for visits if their retainers are fitting well and causing no problems.  

             We call this a Post Retention Phase or PRP.  Your teeth are now as stable as they ever will be.  Unfortunately, this does not mean your teeth will never move.  So we request that you wear your retention appliances as long as you would like to keep your teeth straight.  At our patients PRP appointment we give them the option with their bonded retainer to leave it, remove it and get a removable retainer or to remove it and do nothing.  

              If a patient chooses to keep the glues in retainer we just ask that they have their dentist check it once a year to make sure teeth are continuing to stay straight and the teeth are being kept clean.  If a patient removes it and has a removable retainer made we just as them to wear this retainer at night with their other removable retainer.  If a patient chooses to go without any retention appliances we just ask that if at anytime their teeth start to move or shift they see an orthodontist as soon as possible so that they can adjust their teeth so they will not have to have full braces again.  We do not recommend this last option!

Wearing your retainer is the best insurance you have to keeping a healthy and attractive smile!