A retainer is absolutely critical to maintaining that alignment after your braces are removed. Without it the residual tension in your periodontal ligaments could pull your teeth out of their ideal alignment in a process known as relapse.
A Hawley style retainer is the most common type of retainer fitted for people who have recently had their braces removed.
When you are not wearing your Hawley retainer you should keep it in the case that was provided by your orthodontist. It’s not a bad idea to simply keep the case with you, rather than improvise by keeping it in a napkin or a plastic bag.
You can occasionally refresh your retainer by soaking it in a 50/50 mixture of water and antiseptic mouthwash.
You can brush your retainer with a soft bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste. This will help remove any plaque buildup and keep the retainer fresh.
Make sure you maintain your daily hygiene routine, which includes brushing and flossing twice per day. If you retainer suffers any bent wires or damage, call us immediately.
If you have questions about how to clean and maintain your retainer please call us at 408.251.7901 so we can answer your questions or schedule an appointment.