Retainers are an important part of orthodontic treatment and play a critical role in maintaining your results by keeping your teeth from moving out of their correct positions.
Cleaning your retainer is very important! How you care for your retainer can affect how it feels in your mouth, how long it lasts, and how effective it will be.
What is a Hawley retainer?
A Hawley retainer is a removable orthodontic appliance that keeps teeth straight after your braces have been removed. It is made from hard plastic that seats against the roof or floor of your mouth and has a small wire that runs across the front of your teeth.
The Hawley retainer can be worn full-time or part-time, depending on your orthodontist's instructions. It is usually worn full time for three months after braces are removed and at night thereafter.
How should I clean my Hawley retainer?
To keep your retainer in good condition, clean it daily by brushing it thoroughly with your toothbrush, paying particular attention to the spaces between the wires. Be careful when brushing around the edges of your retainer—if you hit one of the prongs with too much force, you could break it off or bend it out of shape.
You may soak your retainer in room temperature water and a denture cleaning tablet for ten minutes if any stubborn areas remain after your daily cleaning.
After cleaning, ensure all residue has been removed from your retainer's inside and outside surfaces. When not in use, store your Hawley retainers in their original container safely away from moisture or heat sources.
Are there other tips to remember when caring for my retainer?
Taking care of your mouth while wearing the retainer is also important. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. This will help prevent food particles and plaque from building up on your retainer.
- It may not be advisable to wear your retainers during activities such as contact sports. If you're unsure about any activity, check with your orthodontist.
- Don't chew gum or suck on hard candies while wearing a retainer. These actions can break or loosen the wires that are holding your teeth in place.
- Contact your orthodontist immediately if you experience any pain or discomfort while wearing your retainer.
Do you have questions about your Hawley retainer?
Contact Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics at one of our three Minneapolis area locations to schedule an appointment.