Introduction: Fixed retainers for anterior teeth have become a popular method for maintaining the position and function of teeth after orthodontic treatment. Various retainer designs, wire sizes and types have been used over the years. One problem with fixed retainers is that they complicate oral hygiene and therefore might negatively affect the periodontal tissues if left in place for long periods of time. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to compare the periodontal health of maxillary and mandibular anterior teeth retained with two different types of fixed retainers. Methods: Male and female subjects who had been in continuous orthodontic fixed retention for between 2-4 years were recruited from a single, private orthodontic practice in southwestern British Columbia. The periodontal health of the anterior teeth of 39 subjects with a wave retainer and 35 subjects with a straight retainer between the ages of 13-22 were evaluated. Pocket probing depths, bleeding on probing, plaque index, calculus index, recession and gingival crevicular fluid volume were recorded and compared to determine if there was any significant difference between the two groups. Additionally, a ten-question oral hygiene survey to assess each subject's oral hygiene habits was given to each subject at the time of data collection. Results: The Independent Samples Median Test and Mann-Whitney U test indicated that there was no statistically significant difference between the groups regarding plaque index, gingival crevicular fluid volume, calculus index and pocket probing depths. The Mann-Whitney U test indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in recession and bleeding on probing between the groups. The Mann-Whitney U test indicated a statistically significant difference in the reported frequency of flossing (P =0.006) and ease of flossing (P =0.000), with the wave retainer group reporting flossing more frequently and with greater ease. Using the Mann-Whitney U test there was no significant difference between the groups for reported frequency of brushing and comfort of retainer. Conclusion: Under the conditions of this study, no difference was found in the periodontal health of anterior teeth retained with a straight or wave retainer for a period of 2-4 years following orthodontic treatment. Subjects reported an increase in frequency and ease of flossing for the fixed wave retainer compared to those with a straight retainer.

LLU Discipline

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics


Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics


School of Dentistry

First Advisor

Leggitt, V. Leroy

Second Advisor

Caruso, Joseph

Third Advisor

Olson, Gregory

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded

January 2013

Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Mouth - Care and Hygiene; Periodontics; Orthodontics; Orthodontic Appliances; Orthodontics, Corrective - Instrumentation

Subject - Local

Periodontal Health; Anterior Teeth; Fixed Dental Retainers; Oral Hygiene



Page Count

54 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses & Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives