The braces installed in your mouth by your orthodontist, Dr. Bertha Dieguez, have gradually altered the position and alignment of your teeth to give you a better functioning mouth and a more appealing smile. This is done by gradually applying progressive tension to the braces hardware during your routine adjustment sessions.
Even after your braces have been removed, there is still a modest amount of residual tension in the periodontal ligaments that are anchoring your teeth in their sockets. To keep this from relapsing the alignment of your teeth, we will need to fit you for a retainer.
While the daily duration might change over time, you will likely need to use a retainer for the same length of time you needed braces. If your retainer is damaged, your teeth could come out of alignment, which could extend the amount of time you need to use it. Daily care and cleaning can help keep this duration to the bare minimum.
Hawley-style retainers are the most common type of retainer that we prescribe. This is a custom molded piece of acrylic that is secured in your mouth by a series of interlocking wires. It is removable and requires a few basic care considerations.
When you’re not wearing the retainer, you should keep it in the case provided. It’s best to get in the habit of keeping the case with you so you don’t have to improvise with a napkin or a plastic bag. To refresh your retainer, you can soak it in a mixture of one-half antiseptic mouthwash and one-half cold water.
You should clean your Hawley retainer twice a day by brushing it with a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste to remove any residual plaque.
If you have questions about how to clean and maintain your new Hawley retainer in Birmingham, Alabama, you can always call 205-980-4744 to talk to someone at Dieguez Smiles.