Posted .

Once the alignment of your teeth has been fully corrected, your braces can be removed. Yet this is not the conclusion of the realignment process. Each of your adjustment sessions at Gary Lee Breece DDS MS’s Enid, Oklahoma clinic applied a modest amount of tension to the periodontal ligaments that anchor your teeth in the sockets.

If this tension is not addressed in some way after the braces have been removed, it can allow your teeth to gradually drift out of their ideal position.

The most effective way to address this problem is to have your Gary Lee Breece DDS MS orthodontist fit you for a retainer. A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer. It is removable and custom shaped from dental grade acrylic to match the shape of your mouth. When worn, it will be locked in place by wires that correspond with specific teeth.

Your Hawley retainer will need daily care and cleaning to ensure its maximum effect. If something is bent, damaged or suffers excess wear and tear, it could increase the duration of time you need to use a retainer.

While the Hawley retainer is in your mouth, you can speak and drink normally. However, you will need to take it out when you are eating. This prevents food particles from getting trapped under the retainer and keeps it safe from being bent or damaged when eating hard foods.

You should always try to keep the retainer in its case when you’re not using it. It’s best to get in the habit of keeping the case quick at hand. Improvising with a napkin or plastic bag should only be a last resort.

You can refresh the Hawley retainer by soaking it for a few minutes in an equal mixture of water and antiseptic mouthwash. If you have a little plaque on the retainer or the wires, you can lightly brush it with a soft bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste.

If you have questions about how to clean and maintain your new Hawley retainer, you can always call 580-233-2557 to speak to a staff member at Gary Lee Breece DDS MS’s Enid, Oklahoma orthodontic clinic.