Having your braces removed can be relieving. Especially now that you get to see your new winning smile without metal brackets and wires in the way. At the same time, you need to understand that there is still a little bit of tension lingering in your periodontal ligaments. If it’s not addressed by wearing a retainer, your teeth could gradually start to slip out of alignment.
Most people need to use a retainer for about the same amount of time they needed braces. Properly cleaning and maintaining your retainer will keep this time to the bare minimum. Failing to use the retainer during the recommended times or it is damaged, could cause your teeth to relapse toward their old position.
A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer that Dr. Burgess prescribes. This style of retainer is removable. It’s a custom molded piece of acrylic that is secured in your mouth by a series of interlocking wires.
When you’re not wearing the retainer, you should keep it in the case provided. Try 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 glass that is half antiseptic mouthwash and half cold water.
You should brush your Hawley retainer twice a day, with a soft bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste. This will serve to remove any residual plaque and refreshing. You can also soak the retainer in a mixture of water and antiseptic mouthwash if it needs additional refreshing.
If you have questions about how to clean and maintain your new Hawley retainer, you can always call Dr. Burgess’ office in Austin, TX at 512-270-0030 to ask a question. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, book online today!