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Over the course of multiple adjustment sessions your teeth have been pulled into a healthy and more visually appealing alignment. Now the time has come for your braces to be removed. Of course braces are only one step in the process of providing and maintaining the ideal alignment of your teeth.

The next step in the alignment process is called retention, which involves wearing a retainer during prescribed times. Without the use of a retainer the residual tension in your periodontal ligaments can pull your teeth out of their new alignment.

Hawley style retainers are the most common type of retainer orthodontist recommended for patients that have recently had their braces removed. The unit consists of a thin piece of acrylic that is anchored to your teeth by a set of wires.

It’s important to keep your new Hawley retainer in the case provided when you are not wearing it. Improvising with a napkin, paper towel or plastic bag is a bad idea, especially when you consider that the case can fit easily in a backpack or pocket.

If the retainer needs to be refreshed, you can soak it for a few minutes in a mixture of half water and half antiseptic mouthwash. You can then brush your retainer with a soft bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste to remove any plaque buildup on the acrylic or wires.

Make sure you maintain your daily hygiene routine, of brushing and flossing twice per day.

If the acrylic is damaged or one of the anchoring wires gets bent or broken you should call us immediately to rectify the problem.

If you have questions about how to clean and maintain your retainer please call us at (928) 343-9559 so we can answer your questions or schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!