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Once the alignment of your teeth has been fully corrected, your orthodontist can remove your braces. However, there will still be some residual tension remaining in the periodontal ligaments that anchor your teeth in place. If it’s not addressed in some way it could cause your teeth to drift out of their ideal position.

To prevent this from happening to your upper teeth, Dr. Christopher Liang will likely provide you with a removable Hawley retainer. This is a molded plastic mouth piece that conforms to the shape of your mouth and locks into place with special wires.

If one specific area of your teeth needed significant correction, your orthodontist might recommend installing an additional fixed retainer. This is more common for lower front teeth or an area of overcrowding. 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 while they accept their new position.

The fixed retainer can’t be removed, so it will require specific focus in your daily oral hygiene routine. To aid in this effort 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. A floss threader with waxed dental floss can help insert the strand under the fixed retainer allowing you to floss the gumline. The wax coating also helps the strand of floss slip into place easier. A water flosser device can help clean food debris from the gum line and other hard to reach places around the fixed retainer. It’s important to remember that this is an enhancement for brushing.

If you are in Potomac, Maryland and you are struggling to maintain your fixed retainer, you can always call 301-637-2189 to speak to speak to a staff member at Liang Orthodontics.