Now that your braces have successfully adjusted your teeth to their ideal alignment, they can be removed. However, you will still need to use a retainer to make sure your teeth remain in their new position. There will still be some residual tension in the periodontal ligaments anchoring your teeth in the sockets. You will need to wear a retainer during the times Dr. Manshadi, Dr. Roden-Johnson, and Dr. Afridi prescribes, to allow this tension to dissipate.
A Hawley style retainer is the most common type of retainer Dr. Manshadi, Dr. Roden-Johnson, and Dr. Afridi recommends for people who have just had their braces removed.
If you fail to consistently use the retainer or some part of it is bent or damaged, your teeth could fall out of their ideal position. At the very least, it will likely increase the amount of time you’ll still need to wear it.
While you drink normally, you should remove your Hawley retainer when you are eating. You should always keep it in the case provided when you’re not wearing it. It’s a good habit to keep the case with you at all time, rather than improvise by storing 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. If there is a little plaque buildup on any part of it, you can lightly brush the retainer with a soft bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste.
If you have questions about how to clean and maintain your Hawley retainer, you can always call Dr. Manshadi, Dr. Roden-Johnson, and Dr. Afridi’s office in Victoria, TX at (361) 433-4704 for advice.