What the Retainer Does
The Hawley retainer holds or retains the corrections accomplished with orthodontics. This retainer may also be “active” whereby the retainer with its wire and acrylic construction is able to accomplish minor tooth movement. Dr. Komoroski will tell you whether the retainer is passive or active for specific purposes.
Inserting Your Retainer
Place the labial bow or front wire over the front teeth. Metal clasps or attachments will seat in between the back teeth. If the appliance does not seem to fit, remove the appliance and re-insert the retainer until it seats completely.
The retainer should be worn about 13 hours per day unless specified otherwise at your appointment. Included in this time is the time spend while sleeping.
Retainers should not be worn to school, during any athletic activities, or while outside your house. Do not eat while wearing your retainer(s).
What to Expect
- Speech may be slurred for the first 3 to 5 days while wearing the retainer.
- Excessive salivation may also occur for the first few days.
- These appliances are generally passive and should not create significant pressure on the teeth. If the appliance is active, it will create pressure for 2-3 days, and should be worn as prescribed so that the teeth accommodate to the pressure.
If the retainer does not fit or starts to feel too loose, please call the office to schedule an appointment.
Cleaning Your Retainer
- While the retainer is out of your mouth- brush it with a toothbrush but no toothpaste.
- Over-the-counter denture cleaners/retainer cleaners work well to freshen the appliance.
- A diluted solution of white vinegar and water solution can help remove accumulated tarter. Soak your retainer for 20 minutes and then brush the appliance with a toothbrush.
- Do not boil the retainer. If you want to disinfect the appliance- soak the retainer in Listerine for 1 hour.
Remember to bring your retainer(s) with you when you come for your Retainer Check visit!
There are fees for replacement retainers.