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The regular tension applied to your teeth, during your routine adjustment sessions at Dr. Ravi Aulakh’s San Jose, California clinic has been gradually repositioning your teeth. With your ideal alignment nearing, your braces can be uninstalled from your mouth. Yet this is not the end of the process. It’s still important to ensure that the residual tension in your mouth doesn’t pull your teeth out of their new orientation.

To make sure your teeth will stay in their correct position, Dr. Ravi Aulakh will likely fit you for a removable Hawley retainer. This is a removable, custom-molded piece of acrylic anchored in your mouth by a series of wires that interlock with your teeth. It helps your upper teeth hold in position while any lingering tension gradually dissipates.

The Hawley retainer also needs to be rinsed and lightly brushed each day. When you aren’t wearing it, you should keep the retainer in the case provided.

Lower teeth that required significant realignment, might require additional means to hold them in their new alignment. Should this prove the case, Dr. Ravi Aulakh might also advocate installing an additional fixed retainer. This is a strong metal band adjusted to the shape of your lower teeth. After adjusting it, we will cement it in place using a very strong dental adhesive.

Since it cannot be removed, the fixed retainer will need special focus in your daily oral hygiene routine. If you’re struggling to clean some of the contours of your teeth, you might want to try using interdental brushes to remove plaque and food particles from hard to reach places. A floss threader with waxed dental floss can also help you floss the teeth and gum line below the fixed retainer.

If you are due to have your braces removed and you have retainer questions, you can always call 408-227-6000 to speak to someone at AZ Dental’s San Jose, California clinic.