Permanent Retainers After Braces

By March 11, 2016 July 7th, 2017 Blog, Life After braces, Maintenance

permanent retainers

Permanent retainers, also known as fixed or bonded retainers, are a highly effective solution for maintaining straight teeth and a beautiful smile after braces. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of permanent retainers and lifelong retainer wear.

How Permanent Retainers Work

Like other types of retainers, permanent retainers are designed to minimize relapse, or the shifting of the teeth back toward their original positions. What makes them different is that they are permanently bonded to the back of your teeth—for years or even decades. Unlike removable retainers, you don’t have to take them out while you’re eating or brushing your teeth. And you don’t have to remember to put them in every night before bed, because they’re fixed in place 24/7.

Why Get a Permanent Retainer After Braces?

After you get your braces taken off, your teeth will continue to shift with age—unless you keep wearing your retainer on a regular basis. The bottom front teeth, in particular, are especially prone to relapse. This 20-year study, published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, showed that bonded lower permanent retainers will keep teeth straight with no negative impact on the gums or teeth as long as patients keep them clean!

Permanent retainers are proven to be a safe and highly effective option for maintaining straight teeth after braces. On top of that, they are also aesthetically pleasing. Many patients prefer permanent retainers because they are hidden behind the teeth. Plus, you don’t have to worry about losing them or forgetting to wear them.

Why Dr. Dougherty Recommends Lifetime Retention

To maintain straight teeth after braces, Dr. Dougherty exclusively recommends lifetime retention, or lifelong use of retainers. If you choose to wear a removable appliance instead of a permanent retainer after braces, be sure to practice lifetime retention. Wear your retainers nightly for a lifetime (following twelve weeks of full-time wear) to keep that new grin gorgeous! Learn more about why you should wear your retainer for life.

Have questions about permanent retainers? Want to learn about other retainer options available at Dougherty Orthodontics? Contact us! Call our office at 636.825.1000 or email