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Once your teeth have achieved their ideal alignment, your orthodontist, Dr. Deji Fashemo, can remove your braces. However, there is still one last step needed to help you maintain your new smile for many years to come.

The periodontal ligaments that are anchoring your teeth still have a little bit of residual tension in them. To keep this from affecting your teeth, Dr. Deji Fashemo will fit you for a removable retainer.

A Hawley-style retainer is the most common type of retainer our Fourth Dimension Orthodontics & Craniofacial Orthopedics team recommends. This is a thin acrylic unit that is molded to match the roof of your mouth. It is removable and is held in place with wires that interlock with your teeth.

If you fail to wear your retainer during the prescribed times, or if it is bent or damaged, it will increase the amount of time you need to use it.

Even though you can drink normally when you are wearing your retainer, you should remove it when you eat. When you’re not wearing the retainer, you should always keep your retainer in its case. It’s best to keep the case with you at all times so you don’t have to improvise with a napkin or a plastic bag.

You can refresh the Hawley retainer by soaking it in a mixture of one-half antiseptic mouthwash and one-half cold water. If there is plaque buildup on any part of the retainer, you can lightly brush it with a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste.

If you have questions about how to clean and maintain your Hawley retainer in Allen and Dallas, Texas, you can call our office to seek further advice. Our Dallas office can be reached at 972-947-2000 and our Allen office at 972-947-2200.