Your braces are just one step of the process of aligning your teeth. Over the course of your alignment sessions your teeth have migrated into their ideal alignment. However, the periodontal ligaments that anchor your teeth still have some residual tension. If you don’t wear a retainer this residual tension will slowly pull your teeth out of alignment in a process known as relapse.
The metal wires of your fixed retainer are cemented in place behind your teeth. Just like when you were wearing braces, there are certain foods and activities that can damage or make the retainer hard to clean.
Chewing gum, and eating sticky or hard crunchy foods can sometimes bend a wire or loosen the cement on the backs of your teeth. If a wire does come loose and is threatening to harm your gums or tongue you can secure the point in some orthodontic wax.
You will need to factor your fixed retainer into your daily oral hygiene routine. Some people find that interdental brushes with their angled, narrow, bristle heads help to clean in around hard to reach places. Dental water jets can also help loosen food particles. A floss threader can come in handy if you are having issues with getting floss between the teeth anchoring the wire.
If you have any questions or concerns about your fixed retainer, please call us at 804-740-7281 to schedule an appointment.