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After the braces you received at Liang Orthodontics have realigned the position of your teeth to improve the function and appeal of your smile through gradual and progressive tension, you will enter the second phase of orthodontics: wearing a retainer. Orthodontic retainers are needed to prevent the dental alignment from relapsing. We offer some insight into caring for a retainer to keep it safe and maintain your new, beautiful smile.

While you may not need to wear a retainer every minute of the day as you would with braces, you will likely need to wear it for an extended period of time. It’s important to prevent your retainer from becoming damaged so that your teeth don’t lose their new alignment and prolong the amount of time you need to wear a retainer. By showing your retainer daily care and proper cleaning, you can move on from needing a retainer as soon as possible.

The most common style of retainer that we offer is the Hawley retainer, which is made of acrylic and custom molded to fit in your mouth, secured in place by interlocking wires. This type of retainer is removable and requires proper care.

When the retainer is not in your mouth, it should be placed in its case to prevent any damage to the material. We encourage you to make a habit of carrying your case around with you so that it’s always on-hand and you don’t need to resort to a napkin or plastic bag. To keep your retainer fresh, submerge it in a solution of cold water and antiseptic mouthwash. It’s also imperative to brush your Hawley retainer twice a day using a non-abrasive toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush to clear away residual plaque.

If you have any questions about how to clean an orthodontic retainer in Potomac, Maryland, give our orthodontists, Dr. Donald Liang and Dr. Christopher Liang, and our team a call at 301-637-2189 today to schedule an appointment.