Fixed retainers are the standard method of keeping front teeth straight after orthodontic treatment. Without stabilisation, the anterior teeth are almost guaranteed to become crooked again. But does the fixed retainer harm your health in the long run? In a large-scale scientific review, the effect of fixed retainers on the health of the gums and the periodontium was investigated. In a dozen high-quality studies, no negative effects of the fixed retainer on gum health have been found. People with fixed retainers were consistently as healthy as those without retainers.
Caries has not been studied, but we know from experience that caries associated with retainers is a rarity and not a real problem. We can therefore tell our patients with certainty that fixed retainers can remain in the mouth for a long time without fear of damage and therefore recommend this method of stabilisation.
More information: Arn ML, Dritsas K, Pandis N, Kloukos D. The effects of fixed orthodontic retainers on periodontal health: A systematic review. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 202;157: S. 156–164