Posted .

Each of your regularly scheduled braces adjustments was designed to gradually alter the alignment of your teeth to provide you with a better functioning mouth and a more appealing smile. As you near the completion of the realignment process, you may be excited to enjoy a mouth free of orthodontic hardware.

Yet even after the braces have been uninstalled, there will still be a mild amount of tension in the periodontal connective tissues that anchor your teeth in your gums. If it’s not addressed in some way, it could potentially cause your teeth to relapse out of their ideal alignment.

In most cases, the most comfortable and effective way to prevent relapse is to regularly use a removable Hawley retainer. It is a simple piece of dental grade acrylic that will match the shape and contours of your mouth. It also incorporates rigid wires that lock in place with specific teeth.

Wearing the Hawley retainer at the prescribed times is essential for preventing your teeth from relapsing. It’s also important to maintain the retainer on a daily basis, while also providing your mouth with good oral hygiene habits.

If some part of it is bent or suffers from excess wear and tear, it could cause problems that increase the amount of time you need to use a retainer.

You should always remove the Hawley retainer before eating a meal or snack to prevent food particles from getting trapped under the retainer to prevent unnecessary damage. It will help if you adopt a habit of keeping the retainer case with you rather than constantly improvising with a napkin or plastic bag.

If needed, you can easily refresh your Hawley retainer by soaking it for a few minutes in an equal mixture of water and antiseptic mouthwash. Each evening you will also need to give it a light brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a little nonabrasive toothpaste.

If you had the alignment of your teeth corrected by braces at Orthodontics, Inc.’s orthodontic clinic in Flagstaff, Arizona, and you have a question about retainers, you can always call (928) 774-0881 to speak to a member of Dr. Jacob Spendlove’s staff.