Care After Braces

December 23, 2014

Once the braces come off, this does not signify the end of your dental care. It is important to keep up on the work that has been done, helping to keep your teeth both straight and healthy. Follow these care tips after you have your braces removed to maintain your beautiful smile.


The Retainer

There are a few different types of retainers that can be used after orthodontic care:


  • Hawley retainer – this is the most common retainer used, it consists of an acrylic piece fitted to a wire that can be removed from the teeth for eating or other daily activities.
  • Clear plastic retainer – similar to the Hawley retainer, this piece can be removed from the teeth, but instead of using wire this retainer is simply a clear piece of plastic formed to fit across each tooth.
  • Fixed bonded retainer – this retainer is especially popular on the lower front teeth. It cannot be removed, but unlike the others rests behind the teeth where it is not seen. This retainer is most often used for those who have a higher risk of teeth moving out of place.


Each of these retainers have both advantages and disadvantages. It is important if you have a retainer that can be removed to wear it on a regular basis. When it is out, you should always put it in its case for protection.




Like when you first get your braces, there is an initial stage of adjustment that most people will go through. Some people have claimed that they have more saliva in their mouths when they first start wearing a retainer or that it is more difficult to talk. Both of these problems will go away after consistently wearing the retainer for a time.


Maintaining Your Retainer


Like your teeth, your retainer needs to be properly cared for after braces to keep it clean. Each type of retainer requires a different technique to keep it clean:


  • Brush your Hawley retainer with a toothbrush and toothpaste to keep it clean.
  • For clear retainers, the bristles of the toothbrush might scratch it. there are denture or even retainer cleaners that can be used to keep these clean.
  • Fixed retainers must be cleaned by diligent brushing and flossing. Food caught behind here can result in bad breath and potential cavities.

Care for your teeth and retainer after braces. Don’t let all the hard work of braces go to waste, maintain your teeth for your most beautiful smile.

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