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Over the course of multiple adjustment sessions your teeth have been pulled into a healthy and more visually appealing alignment. Now the time has come for your braces to be removed. Of course braces are only one step in the process of providing and maintaining the ideal alignment of your teeth.

The next step in the alignment process is called retention, which involves wearing a retainer during prescribed times. Without the use of a retainer the residual tension in your periodontal ligaments can pull your teeth out of their new alignment. If your teeth, or lower teeth required a significant amount of adjustment, your orthodontist might recommend a fixed retainer.

This unit consists of a sturdy metal wire that is cemented to the back of your teeth. Cleaning the back of your teeth and around the wire is essential for good oral hygiene and to maintain the retainer’s effectiveness.

Interdental brushes are handy for cleaning in and around the wire and other hard to reach places. Their narrow, bristle heads are offset at an angle, making it easy to work them in and out. Some people prefer a dental water jet or oral irrigator. If you are having issues with getting floss between the teeth anchoring the wire, you might want to try using a floss threader.

You should try to avoid chewing gum, eating sticky or hard crunchy foods. These foods and activities can bend the wire or even cause some of the cement holding it in place to come loose.

If your retainer wire is damaged it will increase the amount of time you need to wear it. When this happens you need to call us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to cement the retainer back in place.

If you have any questions or concerns about your fixed retainer, please call us at 605-987-2721 to schedule an appointment.