Posted .

Through the course of your routine adjustment sessions with your Canton Dental Clinic orthodontist, your braces have given you a perfect smile. Now they can now be removed and you can show your new smile to the world!

However, there will still be a modest amount of residual tension in the periodontal ligaments anchoring your teeth in the sockets. If this tension is not addressed and mitigated in some way, your teeth will slip out of their new position in a process known as relapse. To this end, you will need to use a retainer for a while to help hold your teeth in position long enough for the residual tension to subside.

A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer that our orthodontists prescribe. In general, most people need to use a retainer for about the same amount of time they needed braces. In order to keep this time to the bare minimum, you will need to properly maintain your retainer and consistently wear it during the prescribed times.

If your retainer is damaged or you fail to use it consistently, it will increase the amount of time you need to use it.

You should always keep your Hawley retainer in its case when you are not wearing it. Try to keep the case with you, rather than improvise by keeping it in 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 brush your Hawley retainer twice a day, with a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste to refresh it and remove any residual plaque. You can then 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 or your retainer is damaged, you should call Canton Dental Clinic’s clinic in Canton, South Dakota at 605-987-2721 to schedule an appointment.