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Over the course of time, and your multiple adjustment sessions at AZ Dental’s San Jose, California clinic, your braces have brought your teeth into their ideal alignment. Once they have been removed, there will still be a modest amount of residual tension in your dental sockets. If it’s not countered in some way, this tension could cause your teeth to relapse out of their ideal position.

To prevent this from happening, your AZ Dental orthodontist will fit you for a retainer. Removable Hawley retainers are popular for holding the upper set of teeth in position. This is a molded plastic mouth pieces that conforms to the shape of your mouth, and locks into place with special wires.

If there was one specific area that required more significant correction, your orthodontist might fit you for an additional fixed retainer. This is more common for lower, front teeth or an overcrowding issue. This is essentially a sturdy metal band will be cemented in place behind your teeth in critical locations. This will serve to hold them in the new position.

Since it can’t be removed, you will need to give it specific focus in your daily oral hygiene routine. To aid in this endeavor, you might want to try some special oral hygiene tools.

An interdental brush has a small, tapered head that helps clean away food material and plaque from hard to reach places around the fixed retainer.

If you find it difficult to floss between your teeth and around the fixed retainer you might want to try using a floss threader with waxed dental floss. The wax coating also helps the strand of floss slip into place easier.

A special water flosser, like Waterpik® can help clean food debris from the gum line and other hard to reach places around the fixed retainer. Just keep in mind that this is an enhancement for brushing and cannot replace the full effectiveness of dental floss.

If you have questions about the best way to clean and maintain your fixed retainer, you can always call 408-437-1111 to speak to speak to a staff member at AZ Dental’s San Jose, California clinic.