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Fixed Retainers – Cumming, GA

Permanent Solutions to Keep Smiles in Place

A young male with dark hair and beard smiling after seeing his orthodontist in Cumming, GA for a fixed retainer

Our team at Serenity Orthodontics want the time and money you’ve invested in your newer, healthier smile to last a lifetime. Whether you received treatment with metal braces or clear aligners, life without these orthodontic appliances will require continual maintenance and additional help in the form of a fixed retainer. Your orthodontist in Cumming, GA, doesn’t want your teeth trying to move back into their original position, so if you think you might be a good candidate for this type of appliance, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

What is a Fixed Retainer?

A digital image of a metal fixed retainer placed on the backside of three teeth on the lower arch

A fixed retainer is a small, metal bar that is affixed to a few teeth. Using dental cement, your orthodontist will place the appliance on the backside of your teeth, making it invisible to others. At first, you might feel it against your tongue; however, because it is thin, you will be less likely to notice it after a few days of wear.

Fixed retainers are designed for permanence, so if we think your teeth are more likely to shift after discontinuing treatment with braces, you can expect us to recommend this type of oral appliance.

How Are They Different from Removable Retainers?

A young female with red hair holding a tiny leaf while embracing her new and improved smile

When completing treatment with metal or ceramic braces or clear aligners, you will need to wear a retainer. There are two types your dentist will choose from: a fixed or removable retainer. While there are benefits to having a removable retainer, there are also many great reasons to receive a fixed one instead. So, apart from the obvious that one is affixed, and the other is removable, what are their differences?

  • Comfort: A fixed retainer, while felt in the first few days, is less likely to be as bothersome as a removable retainer. Over time, you won’t even notice it is there as you move throughout your day. It will become a more natural feeling that does not hinder your soft tissues in any way.
  • Cleaning: While you may not have to soak your retainer or clean it separately like a removable retainer, there are some difficulties when it comes to keeping it clean. It is easy for food and bacteria to become trapped behind the metal bar. If left untreated, it can begin to calcify and become impossible to remove with dental floss. To keep it clean, you will likely need to invest in a floss threader or water floss to help navigate the crevices and remove plaque accumulations.
  • Permanence: With a fixed retainer, it is permanently placed inside your mouth, so you’ll never have to worry about losing it. A removable retainer requires that you take it out before eating. If you don’t have a protective case, you can easily lose or damage your retainer, which can result in a necessary and costly replacement.
  • Speech: Because these metal bars are placed on the backside of your teeth, it is less likely to cause problems with your speech. Oftentimes, a removable retainer can make it difficult to say certain words and may even cause you to have a temporary lisp. Not to mention the excess saliva you will produce while wearing a removable retainer. By having a fixed on put into place, you can speak with clarity, making it less obvious you are wearing any type of appliance.