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Your braces and your routine adjustment appointments have gradually altered the alignment of your teeth to give you a more appealing smile and improve your overall oral function. However, you will still need to use a retainer after Dr. John R. Schouten removes the orthodontic hardware from your mouth.

A removable Hawley retainer is popular and effective 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, Dr. John R. Schouten might fit you for an additional fixed retainer. This is more common for lower front teeth or if your braces were needed to correct a significant overcrowding issue.

A fixed retainer 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 quality water flosser like Waterpik® 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 Springville, Utah and you questions about the best way to clean and maintain your fixed retainer, you can always call 801.806.0334 to speak to speak to a staff member at Schouten Orthodontics.