Posted .

Through the course of your adjustment sessions your braces have effectively realigned your teeth for a winning smile and a more functional mouth. However, these adjustments were just the first step in achieving your ideal alignment. After your braces are removed a retention phase is required to make sure your teeth will stay in their ideal alignment for many years to come.

Even now that your teeth are in their new alignment, there will still be some residual tension in the periodontal ligaments that anchor your teeth in your mouth. If you don’t use a retainer, this residual tension can slowly start to pull your teeth out of their ideal alignment.

There are three different types of retainer that A&A Orthodontics might recommend for you.

A Hawley retainer is the most common type of retainer. This is essentially 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.

A clear plastic retainer is called for, if you only wore braces for a short period of time and only required minor realignment. These retainers are made from a durable plastic material molded to your teeth in the new bite pattern. The casual observer can hardly notice you’re wearing it.

Fixed retainer are called for if your braces provided significant adjustment to the alignment of your teeth. A fixed retainer 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 retainers, you can call A&A Orthodontics at to set up an appointment.