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Dr. Stacee Burson installed the braces in your mouth to adjust the alignment of your teeth through the course of regular adjustment sessions. Each adjustment applied progressive tension to the periodontal ligaments that anchor your teeth in their sockets. Now that your ideal alignment has been achieved, she can remove your braces and you can enjoy your new smile.

However, there will still be some lingering tension in the periodontal ligaments. To keep this from altering the alignment of your teeth, your orthodontist will fit you for a retainer in Texarkana, Texas.

Your orthodontist commonly prescribes a Hawley retainer for people who have just had their braces removed. This is a thin piece of acrylic that is molded to the shape of the roof of your mouth. It is removable, but while it’s in your mouth it will be held in place by sturdy wires that interlock with your teeth.

While the retainer is in your mouth, you can drink and speak 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.

When you’re not wearing the retainer, you should always keep it in its case. It’s best to get in the habit of keeping the case with you. Improvising with a napkin or plastic bag should only be a last resort.

You can refresh your Hawley retainer by soaking it for a few minutes in a mixture of one-half antiseptic mouthwash and one-half cold water. If you notice 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 Orthodontics by Dr. Burson at 903-334-8080 to seek further advice.