Each of your braces adjustment sessions with our orthodontist served an important role in correcting your misaligned teeth. The progressive tension applied to the components helped to stretch and alter the periodontal connective tissues that are responsible for anchoring your teeth in place.
Once your teeth have achieved their ideal alignment the braces hardware can be removed. However, there will still be a mild amount of tension in the periodontal ligaments. If it’s not addressed in some way, it could potentially cause your teeth to relapse out of their ideal alignment.
Fortunately, relapse can often be prevented by using a removable Hawley retainer. It is a simple oral appliance that will closely match the shape and contours of your mouth. The unit also incorporates rigid wires to help lock it in place with your teeth.
Wearing the Hawley retainer at the necessary times is essential for maintaining the corrected position of your teeth. Taking care of the unit and maintaining good oral hygiene will help maximize its effectiveness and minimize the amount of time you need to use a retainer.
The Hawley retainer needs to be removed before eating to prevent food particles from becoming trapped in an around it. It’s best to get in the habit of keeping the retainer case with you, rather than improvising with a bag or a napkin.
If you need to, you can refresh the retainer by soaking 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 to remove any plaque buildup.
If you had the alignment of your teeth corrected by braces at Dr. David S. Wilbanks’s orthodontic office in El Paso, Texas, and you have a question about retainers, you can always call 915-581-5021 to speak to a member of Wilbanks Orthodontics’s staff.