Permanent Retainer is a PAIN! :(

If you have finished with your orthodontic treatment and are wearing retainers (or will be soon), this is a special place to connect with others in your (enviable) situation. Ask a question or make a comment about life post-braces.

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Permanent Retainer is a PAIN! :(

#1 Post by Rebekah19 »

I have a permanent retainer on my bottom teeth- I might add that my orthodontist NEVER asked me if I was okay with gettting it instead of a regular Hawley- I had braces for 5 years, paid $6000 and I want what I want. The retainer isnt that bad but it is a pain to floss under and I am having to use a threader which is hard to do, I didnt want to get my braces off to have the same irritations I had with braces while not having braces. Also some of my back teeth have spaces from where the bands are as the perm. retainer wont close these since it only goes accross the front 5 teeth and not the back. Im going back in 2 weeks for a check up on the retainer and my teeth and I am going to ask to have it removed and get a removable retainer. They should NOT charge me right? I mean I didnt ask for this :shock:

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#2 Post by HollyDontSpend »

That is what I am supposed to get on my lowers as well. I have heard nothing but complaints about permanent retainers and frankly, I am not looking foward to it. Let us know how your appt goes. I am really interested to hear what your ortho says. I am thinking about discussing the same topic with him since I'll have a week before I get my retainers.
Damon 2's for 18 months, removed 11/03/05

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Yep, Bad News....

#3 Post by BracesAt42 »

I agree that permanent, bonded retainers are a pain. I think that this type of retainer is self-serving for the ortho in that yes, the retainer will keep the teeth in alignment, but creates a daily nightmare for the patient, and most dentists I have spoken to absolutely detest them.

I refused to have one installed on either of my arches, and my ortho was fine with my decision, but if I hadn't questioned the process, he would have automatically bonded that wire to my lower (and possibly upper) teeth.

I spoke with my dentist (he has 40+ years in practice) and he just shook his head and said that orthos are self-serving in using this type of retainer. They do create all types of hygeine issues and make it very difficult for your dentist and dental hygeinest.

For me, being naked means having nothing permanently attached to my teeth...Hawley or Essix retainers are cool, but anything else is just like being back in braces!

I say have that thing ripped out now and get yourself a Hawley or Essix!
Yep, Braces at Age 42!
Damon 2's
Braces On: 9-18-2003
Braces Off: 7-13-2005


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#4 Post by johnnys_angel »

I really like my permanent retainers (I have one on both arches). They were hard to get used to but now I don't even feel them, and flossing is not too difficult. I would think, rebekah, since you have spaces where your molar bands used to be, that your ortho would agree you wouldn't be a good candidate for a permanent retainer. I hope your problem gets fixed!
Damon 2's top and bottom, BRACED 02/22/04 and REMOVED 08/29/05. Now in bonded retainers (top and bottom) :4 wisdom teeth surgically removed on 12/22/05:

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#5 Post by jenns91civic »

I have hawleys and they dont seem to do anything to retain anything but my front 6 or so...the spaces where the molar bands were pretty much closed up on their own in a week or two after getting the braces off.
Paramedic student

Full Braces (all metal) 5/12/1999 - 4/20/2005
Class II (overjet) on the left only
Upper and Lower Hawleys


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lower bonded

#6 Post by eyegolf20 »

I just got my braces off and I told my ortho I was hoping to NOT have the bonded lower retainer. He said in his experience, there is an extremely high rate of the lower shifting in adults unless they have the bonded retainer. And I said, "Even if they're super good about wearing the hawley" He said yes, the bonded is the best chance of least amount of shifting. I went with the bonded and have not had any problem adjusting to it. I do dislike the flossing but it's only 5 spaces to deal with the trouble flossing. I didn't want to risk my teeth shifting crooked again but everyone has to make their own decision based on what information they obtain.

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#7 Post by Deb12 »

It's impossible to floss b/w the retainer so I don't bother. I hope that won't give me any cavaties

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#8 Post by Kettu »

I've had a fixed retainer now for 4 days and I think that it's just ok. I still keep feeling it with my tongue quite a bit, but I'm sure that I soon won't remember its existence.
At least from pictures I've seen of Hawley's etc. it seems like much smaller a nuisance. I think I'd dislike to have something against my palate. But well, I suppose it's largely a matter of personal preference.
Upper braces (ceramic&metal) since January 20th, 2005, fixed retainer since November 25th, 2005
Lower braces (metal) since July 5th, 2005.
Problem: crowding.
Estimated total treatment time 12-14 months.

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#9 Post by blaat »


I just googled 'flossable retainer' and i came up with this site:
Uppers: Permanent retainer + hawley (night)
Lowers: Permanent retainer

Debanded since the 16th of Jan.

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#10 Post by HollyDontSpend »

Grrr! I am so jealous! Although I don't really mind the threader floss, but those look so great!! :-=
Damon 2's for 18 months, removed 11/03/05

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#11 Post by blaat »

Yea they do look great, too bad my ortho won't fit them :x

Oh, btw your teeth look great!
Uppers: Permanent retainer + hawley (night)
Lowers: Permanent retainer

Debanded since the 16th of Jan.

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#12 Post by Dodger(UK) »

blaat wrote:Hi,

I just googled 'flossable retainer' and i came up with this site:
What will they think of next?? :wink: Wish I could have had bonded retainers like that. Saying that I use TEPE interdental brushes to floss, and they seem to do the job okay. :)

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#13 Post by *Marta* »

That's quite an innovative idea, but doesn't this retainer irritate the tongue more that the 'regular' one? plus, the standard bonded retainer doesn't "stretch" - with this one I'd be afraid I'd have gaps sooner or later.

I have a permanent retainer on the bottom, and removable on top. And I like bottom one more. It's more convenient and I don't feel the urge to take it off ;) plus it's invisible, which is sooo very important after the months of braces! Besides, I try to floss on the bottom too, it's not so easy but I try to "floss more vertically". Obviously it's not as effective as flossing on top, but at least that's something ;)
99 weeks in braces (4 Dec 2003 - 27 Oct 2005)


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#14 Post by Ali »

Hi there,

I had braces for 20 months and got them off...about 20 years ago! I had a bonded retainer on my bottom teeth and a Hawley for the top. A few months after I had my wisdom teeth removed, six years after I had the braces off, I had my bonded retainer removed by my orthodontist.

Big. Mistake. My teeth shifted and they are more crooked now than they were when I got my braces ON! (Everything is relative. My teeth are still "too straight" to warrant braces again).

By that time I'd stopped wearing the Hawley retainer, since it didn't fit anymore. I often wished I'd had a bonded retainer on the top and the bottom. The flossing hassle was worth the trouble.

Just my two cents, for what it's worth.

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#15 Post by Lala7603 »

here is my 2

i have had my bonded retainer for...5 months i would say(oh wow...didnt think it was that long) before my bonded retainer i just had my 2 hawleys for the first 8 months....but i was having problems with them and they were not holding my bottom teeth in place correctly. so i basically wanted a bonded retainer, because i wasnted to do whatever i can to keep these teeth the way they are(and the way they have been for a year! ahhh...) i really dont get bothered with the wire at all. its cemented onto the back of my front 6 teeth on the bottom. YEA YEA.....its a little more difficult to floss...BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE. i figured it its not impossible.
I use superfloss....thread at the bottom by ur gums, bring up and get it through your teeth so you are basically flossing the wire...move from side to side, getting the backsides of the teeth...where u cant get when u brush. it takes some work, but what-r-ya-gonna-do. this wire is keeping your teeth in place...and is easier than just retainers, because its less worrisome. (SPelling im sure)
oh and they might charge you, it all depends. its not like they CANT charge you...u didnt tell they u didnt want the bonded retainer in the first place did if u didnt, they could charge ya.
Braces On: November 21, 2003
Braces Off: December 17, 2004
Braces Back On: November 6, 2007
Braces Back Off: 2008


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