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After your teeth have reached their ideal alignment and your braces have been removed, there will still be some degree of residual tension in the periodontal ligaments anchoring your teeth in their sockets. This means you will need to use a retainer for a while to maintain your new alignment while the tension in your periodontal ligaments subsides.

A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer that Dr. Brett Gluck prescribes. As a rule of thumb, 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 wear it during the prescribed times.

If your retainer is damaged your teeth could come out of alignment, which could extend 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 can brush your Hawley retainer twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste each day to refresh it and remove any residual plaque. You can also 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 in some way, you need to call Dr. Brett Gluck, your orthodontist in John’s Creek, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Lawrenceville, and Cumming, GA.