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Now that your child’s teeth have been moved into their ideal alignment, Dr. Donald Liang and Dr. Christopher Liang can remove their braces. Even after the braces have been removed there will still be some residual tension in the periodontal ligaments that anchor their teeth in their sockets. If it isn’t addressed, this tension will slowly pull their teeth back out of alignment.

Using a retainer helps hold their teeth in the new position until residual tension in the periodontal ligaments fades. As a general rule of thumb, your child will probably need to use a retainer for about as long they needed to wear braces.

There are three different types of retainers that our Liang Orthodontics orthodontists might recommend.

Hawley retainers are the most common style of retainer. This is a thin acrylic piece molded to match the roof of their mouth. It is removable, yet securely attaches to their teeth with a set of sturdy wires.

A clear plastic retainer might be recommended if their teeth only needed minor adjustment by braces. The clear plastic makes it hard for the casual observer to even notice they are wearing a retainer.

Our orthodontists might recommend a fixed retainer if your child’s teeth teeth reuired a significant amount of adjustment from braces. This is a firm metal wire cemented behind their teeth in key locations, such as the lower front teeth.

You should expect that their mouth will produce excess saliva for the first few days after they start wearing a retainer. In time their mouth will get used to the retainer and things should return to normal.

If you or your child have questions about what type of retainer is best for them, you can call Liang Orthodontics’s Potomac, Maryland at 301-637-2189 for a consultation.