A study from the Department of Orthodontics at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in Loma Linda, Calif, found no clinical difference in the periodontal health of anterior teeth retained with a fixed straight retainer (SR) or a fixed wave retainer (WR) for a period of 2 to 4 years. In addition, subjects in the WR group reported an increase in frequency and ease of flossing.

The study, published online ahead of the print publication in the journal The Angle Orthodontist, compared the periodontal health of maxillary and mandibular anterior teeth retained with two types of fixed retainers.

Researchers examined a fixed SR group with 39 subjects and a fixed WR group with 35 subjects; all subjects were between the ages of 13 and 22 and had been in fixed retention for 2 to 4 years. The researchers compared pocket-probing depths, bleeding on probing, plaque index, calculus index, recession, and gingival crevicular fluid volume. Each subject completed a four-question oral hygiene survey subsequently analyzed by the Mann-Whitney U-test and Fisher exact test.

Study findings showed no clinically significant difference between the retainer groups regarding plaque index, gingival crevicular fluid volume, calculus index, recession, bleeding on probing, or pocket-probing depths. The WR group showed a statistically significant increase in the reported frequency of flossing (P =? .006) and ease of flossing (P < .001). There was also no significant difference between the groups in reported frequency of brushing and comfort of the retainer.