Is it normal to have a wire fixed to the back of your teeth after orthodontic treatment?

My daughter has braces that are due to come off. We are full paying not NHS. My daughter’s orthodontist has said that when her braces are removed he is going to fix a wire behiend her teeth, not noticable, however we are told she has to keep it for the next 10/15 years. We were not informed about this at the start. My daughter has a lot of friends that have previously had braces and none of them have the wire behind their teeth. Is the wire normal? Is it a cheaper option?
Thanks for the question

As a matter of course in my practice I offer a combination of both a discreet wire (fixed) retainer and removable retainers, so, yes, a wire behind the teeth is quite normal. I’m surprised more of your daughter’s friends don’t have them.

Having both types works well together – if a removable retainer gets lost or broken then the fixed retainer will help hold the front teeth in place until replacement removables can be made. Likewise, if the fixed retainer gets damaged then the removables will keep things nice and steady until a repair can be done to the fixed retainer.

Fixed retainers can stay on indefinitely and your daughter will have no problem with them as long as she cleans her teeth properly. They need a bit more care with flossing but that is quite possible.

It is almost pointless having orthodontic treatment unless patients understand and sticks to the retainer regime – otherwise much of the benefits will be lost, and sometimes very quickly.

I don’t know the financial arrangements you have with your practice. If your daughter’s orthodontist is recommending fixed retainers then I would suggest that she should have them (as well as removable retainers)to safeguard the time and financial investment that your family has made to give her a beautiful smile. They may well be included in the fee that you have already paid. I know that some practices charge for sundries, breakages, retainer checks, etc, etc. We inform our patients at the outset what the entire fee will be – including retainers and a period of retention supervision – so that there are no surprises – so I suggest that you check back in your contract.

I hope you and your daughter are delighted with her smile when her braces finally come off.

Dr Sharon Orton-Gibbs
Walpole – The Orthodontic Specialists
Surbiton, Surrey

dr sharon orton-gibbs

Sharon Orton-Gibbs

12 Walpole Road, Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 6BU
Web: Tel: 020 8390 1839

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