Cleaning your Fixed Retainer

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The metal wire or wires of your fixed retainer represents a serious investment in holding your teeth in their alignment for several years to come. Your fixed retainer is cemented in place behind your teeth and cannot be removed by anyone other than your orthodontist.

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 a common tool for cleaning in and around the wire and other hard to reach places. They have narrow, bristle heads at an angle that makes it easy to work them in and out. Some people prefer a dental water jet or oral irrigator. A floss threader can come in handy if you are having issues with getting floss between the teeth anchoring the wire.

It’s a good idea to avoid chewing gum and eating sticky or hard crunchy foods while the retainer is cemented to your teeth. This can bend the wire or even cause some of the cement holding it in place to come loose. If the wire is damaged or comes loose, it will increase the amount of time you need to wear it. If a wire does come loose and is threatening to harm your gums or tongue you can secure the point in some orthodontic wax. Then 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 269-964-7660 to schedule an appointment.