Permanent (Fixed) Retainers: Everything You Need to Know
White Tooth Dental Takeaways:
The use of retainers after straightening your teeth (or to prevent teeth from getting more crooked, even if you don’t want to straighten them!) is very important to minimize “relapse” (the natural tendency of teeth to want to go back to the position they started from).
The goal of retainers is to minimize the shifting of teeth, but it cannot completely eliminate it. Retainers have some “built in” flexibility to them- if they were 100% rigid we would be doing damage to your roots- so even with perfect retainer wear, it is normal to see some minor barely noticeable, it noticeable at all) shifting.
Permanent retainers are a great option where indicated, but expecting them to last 20 years is a little bit of wishful thinking! Wear and tear to the “cement” and the wires themselves from your bite, from the food you eat, from any funny habits (nail biting, pen chewing, etc) will contribute to their wear.
On a final note, much of the time oral healthcare providers recommend a lifetime of both permanent and removable retainers as an added protective measure- just in case one or the other breaks before you notice and get a chance to see your dentist/ orthodontist.