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Through the course of routine adjustment sessions with your Golden West Dental Clinic orthodontist, your teeth have achieved their ideal alignment. Even after your braces have been removed, there will still be some residual tension in the periodontal ligaments that anchor your teeth in the sockets.

If it isn’t countered in some way this residual tension can slowly start to pull your teeth out of their ideal alignment. Wearing a retainer helps hold your teeth in their idea alignment until your periodontal ligaments adjust to their new position. As a general rule, you can expect to wear your retainer for about as long as you were wearing braces.

Depending on the particular details involved in your mouth, there are three different types of retainer your Golden West Dental Clinic orthodontist might recommend.

A Hawley-style retainer is the most common. This is basically a thin piece of acrylic molded to the shape of the roof of your mouth. It is removable yet wires securely lock it into place.

Your orthodontist might recommend a clear plastic retainer if your teeth only needed minor adjustment. The clear plastic material makes it hard for people to notice they are even in.

A fixed retainer is called for if your teeth, particularly your front teeth, needed a significant amount of adjustment. This is a firm metal wire cemented behind your teeth.

You should expect to experience increased salivation for the first few days after you start wearing a retainer. After a while your mouth will adapt to the retainer and things should return to normal.

If you are due to have your braces removed and you have questions about what type of retainer you’ll need, you can call Golden West Dental Clinic’s Rialto, California office at 909-421-8787 for a consultation.