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Through the course of routine adjustment sessions, your child’s teeth have achieved their ideal alignment. To ensure that they remain in this new position, your son or daughter will need to use a retainer. Without this important retention phase, their teeth could gradually drift out of alignment and the braces might need to be reinstalled.

A removable Hawley retainer is often sufficient for maintaining the alignment of upper front teeth. If they had multiple teeth that needed significant realignment, including the lower front teeth, Dr. Catherine Scheurer McDevitt might recommend securing a fixed retainer in place.

This is a custom-shaped metal band that is cemented behind the teeth with a strong dental adhesive. It will hold the teeth in place while any residual tension dissipates. They will need to give the fixed retainer and the corresponding teeth a little extra focus in their daily oral hygiene routine. If poor oral hygiene causes tooth decay complications, there could be severe consequences.

To help your child clean hard-to-reach places, Dr. Catherine Scheurer McDevitt might recommend using some special oral hygiene tools.

An interdental brush is a special type of miniature toothbrush. It comes in a few different designs that have tapered, angled heads. It can help clean away plaque and residual food particles from hard-to-reach places around the fixed retainer.

A floss threader that has been loaded with waxed dental floss can also be a handy tool. Its loop-shaped design helps insert the strand beneath the fixed retainer, allowing your child to effectively clean between teeth and along the gumline.

You could also provide your child with an oral irrigator jet to clear away stuck-on food particles in the contours of the teeth. Just keep in mind that this improves the effectiveness of their toothbrush. It cannot effectively replace flossing for removing plaque and food particles from between teeth and along the gumline.

If your son or daughter had their teeth realigned by braces in Worthington, OH and you have questions about maintaining their fixed retainer, you can call 614-888-8070 to seek further advice from our team at A Winning Smile Orthodontics.