Detachable retention wire

retention wire

At the end of orthodontic treatment, it is routine to glue a thread to the back of the teeth in order to maintain the correction obtained. It sometimes happens that this wire can take off or break.

In any case, please contact us. In the meantime, you can cover the part that troubles you with wax. If you do not have wax, you can use sugarless chewing gum.

There are three reasons for the detachment of the thread:

  1. Contamination of glue by saliva. The glue cannot then reach all its strength of resistance. The wire will take off in the first minutes after it is placed or at most within the first 24 hours.
  2. Excessive force that goes beyond the strength of the glue. For example, flossing without taking the usual precautions, crunching a hard food such as candy, ice or even closing the teeth in an unusual way.
  3. Repetitive force that creates microfractures in the glue. Gradually it will weaken and eventually yield, even under weak forces. For example, chewing gum, gnawing his nails, chewing a pencil, or grinding his teeth during sleep.

When the wire peels off, it can easily deform. There may then be a displacement of the teeth. The picture above illustrates this situation. A retention wire was glued to the back of the upper teeth in this young patient (Figure A). Image B taken a few months after image A shows the wire peeled off and deformed due to repetitive grinding of the teeth during sleep.

As for the breakage of a retention wire, the causes are similar to the detachment:

  • Excessive force  by closing the teeth in an unusual way.
  • Excessive force  when grinding teeth during sleep.
  • To bite one’s nails
  • Chewing a pencil

The image above shows the glue break on the right lateral incisor. This breakage was caused by the repetitive muzzling of a pencil. Notice the grayish line on the edge of the tooth which is the mark left by the pencil.

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