Your braces and routine adjustments have slowly altered the alignment of your teeth for a more appealing and better functioning. However, after Dr. Michael Bowen removes the braces from your mouth, you will need a retainer
The most common retainers are called Hawley retainers. These are removable and composed of a piece of acrylic attached to a wire that locks into your teeth.
If during your braces treatment there was one specific area that required more significant correction, Dr. Michael Bowen might fit you for an additional fixed retainer. This is more common for lower front teeth or for a significant overcrowding issue.
A fixed retainer is fundamentally a sturdy metal band which is cemented in place behind your teeth in critical locations. This will hold them in the new position while they accept their new position. The fixed retainer is by nature permanent, so it will require specific focus in your daily oral hygiene routine.
To help you keep your mouth clean, you might want to invest in some of the same tools that you used with your braces. An interdental brush with a small tapered head that will help clean away food material and plaque from hard to reach places around the retainer. To floss the area, you may want to use a floss threader to get around the wires. Wax coated floss will help it slip into place more easily.
A quality water flosser like Waterpik® can help clean food debris from the gumline as well as other hard to reach places around the retainer. Please remember that this is an enhancement for brushing.
If you are in Scottsdale, Arizona and have questions about the best way to clean and maintain your fixed retainer, please call 480-948-4200 to talk to a staff member at Great Big Smiles Orthodontics.