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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Should I have a lower retainer reapplied?

    I recently had my lower retainer removed by my dentist after having it on for 18yrs.

    It was a thickish wire across the rear of my bottom front incisors with two loops/caps over my canines.

    The build-up of plaque and tartar had caused my gums to begin receding and the initial stages of gum disease all along the rear of my lower front teeth.

    After thorough cleaning and scaling my teeth are much healthier.

    My question is - should I get a retainer reapplied? I know that more modern lower retainers can simply be a thin wire across the rear of the incisors & therefore easier to clean around.

    I'm concerned that my lower teeth will move & become crooked again as I become older. I am 34. Any advice would be appreciated :-)
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Dr Moheb Farag BDS (Syd) graduated from the University of Sydney in 2002, and has been practising at Parramatta Dental Surgery since that time. Whilst … View Profile

    Removing the retainer was the correct step and I'm glad to hear that you now have the gum disease controlled.
    You are right that your teeth can move and become crooked again over time so it is best to have some form of retention for those teeth.
    You have a choice of a removable retainer, which is worn nightly, or another fixed wire retainer. This time though i would ensure that it is a “zigzag” shaped retainer as this will allow you to floss comfortably. The issue with the fixed straight retainers is that you can't floss and clean between them unless you use superfloss or interdental brushes. Maintenenace in that area is vital as it is an area of high plaque accumulation and hence higher risk for gum disease.
    Your dentist or orthodontist should be able to provide you with either option.
    Hope that helps
    Moheb Farag

  • 4


    Dr Wijey was born in Sydney, and then moved to the Gold Coast, Queensland, where he graduated from Griffith University in Dentistry in 2009. At … View Profile

    Any form of retainer that is glue to the teeth is intrinsically ufavourable to proper hygiene and thus gum health.

    It seems as if the reason for your relapse is an incorrect swallow. Visit for appliances that treat this.

    Removable retainers are better than bonded, however, you can imagine that at night the retainer is pushing your teeth in one direction and during the day the muscles are pushing these in another. This means your teeth will be constantly pushed everyday for the rest of your life, causing an inflammatory response. This makes your more likely to have root resorption (attrition of the roots of your teeth).

  • 1


    Jaffar Dental - Trusted and Established since 1997. We are a family owned General Dental Practice offering a friendly and caring environment in Waterford QLD. … View Profile

    Yes, If you wish for the lower front teeth to never move after orthodontic treatment is completed.

  • 1




    In 2000 I graduated from the University of Sydney with Honours. I have worked in Country, General Family, Cosmetic Dentistry, Orthodontic and Dental Implant practices, … View Profile

    Generally speaking with all my orthodontic work and my patients who have gone through orthodontics I recommend them to wear reatiners both upper and lower when they are asleep.  These are thin pastic retainers that cover the teeth.  The wires are good but can become problematic with plaque retention and occassionally the bond on one tooth will pop whihc means it is not retained and then moves before anybody realises. My advice have top and bottom clear retainers made and get ysed to wearing them every night for the rest the of you life to be sure the teeth won't move.  You can also then use them as whitening trays and fluoride application trays etc, they become multi use devices.
    Adam Alford

  • 1



    How much would it cost for the plastic retainers? How long would it take to have it?

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