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Now that your teeth have reached your ideal alignment your braces can be removed. You will still need to use a retainer to mitigate some of the residual tension in the periodontal ligaments anchoring your teeth in their sockets. Without a retainer this tension can result in a relapse towards their old alignment. As a general rule, you can expect to wear your retainer for about as long as you were wearing braces.

There are a few different retainer options your Straight Smile orthodontist might recommend depending on the unique details of your mouth and how much realignment was needed.

The most common type of retainer is known as a Hawley. It’s basically a thin acrylic piece molded to the shape of the roof of your mouth. It is removable yet securely attaches to your teeth with wires.

We might recommend a clear plastic retainer, if your teeth only needed minor adjustment. The clear plastic material makes it hard for people to notice they are even in.

A fixed retainer is called for if your teeth, particularly your front teeth, needed a significant amount of adjustment. A fixed retainer is usually a firm metal wire cemented behind your teeth.

It’s natural to experience increased salivation for the first few days after you start wearing a retainer. In time your mouth will adapt to the retainer and things should return to normal.

If you are due to have your braces removed and you have questions about the type of retainer you might need, you can call Straight Smile’s office in College Park, Maryland at 301-841-9348 for a consultation.