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Now that your Kirby Nelson Orthodontics orthodontist has successfully adjusted your teeth to their ideal alignment, your braces can be removed. But after your braces have been removed a retention phase is required to make sure your teeth will stay in their ideal alignment for a lifetime. Your new alignment will still have some residual tension in the periodontal ligaments anchoring your teeth in your mouth. While this tension subsides, you will need to use a retainer.

There are three different types of retainer options that Kirby Nelson Orthodontics might recommend.

The most common type of retainer is known as a Hawley. This style of retainer gets its name from the renowned orthodontist Dr. Charles A. Hawley. This type of retainer is basically a thin, tongue-shaped piece of acrylic, custom fit to the shape of your mouth. It’s removable, yet when you wear it, the retainer is held securely in place by a set of wires that interlock with a few of your teeth.

Your orthodontist might recommend a clear plastic retainer if your braces only provided a minor adjustment to your teeth, or you only wore braces for a short period of time. These retainers are made from a durable plastic material molded to your teeth in the new bite pattern. The casual observer won’t even notice you’re wearing it.

Fixed retainers are called for if your braces provided significant adjustment to the alignment of your teeth. A fixed retainer is basically a strong wire that is cemented in place behind your teeth.

If you are due to have braces removed and you have questions about what type of retainer you will need, you can call Kirby Nelson Orthodontics at (425) 888-1896 to set up a consultation.