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Realigning your son or daughter’s teeth with braces required routine adjustments, good oral hygiene habits and taking daily measures to protect the orthodontic hardware from harm. Now that their teeth have achieved the ideal alignment, they can celebrate their new smile, as the braces are removed.

Yet it’s also important to help them understand that is not the end of the realignment process. Your see each of your child’s teeth are held in place by a series of strong periodontal ligaments. Once the braces hardware has been removed there will still be a modest amount of residual tension, leftover from the adjustments.

Without some form of prevention, this could cause their teeth to gradually relapse out of their new orientation. To prevent this from happening, Dr. Merissa Blais will fit your son or daughter for one of three types of retainer.

Hawley-style retainers are the most common type of removable retainer. This is a thin, custom-shaped piece of acrylic, that fits into the upper portion of the mouth. It is secured by a set of wires that lock onto specific teeth.

A clear plastic retainer might be called for if their braces only provided a minor realignment. This type of retainer is challenging for the casual observer to notice.

If there was one area that needed significant correction, Dr. Merissa Blais might recommend installing a fixed retainer behind the teeth. This is more common for lower-front teeth that needed significant realignment.

A fixed retainer is a simple, yet strong metal band that Dr. Merissa Blais can cement behind the teeth with a strong dental adhesive. It might be used in conjunction with removable Hawley retainer on the upper teeth.  Since it cannot be removed, the fixed retainer will require special focus in their daily oral hygiene regimen.

If your child is due to have their braces removed and they have retainer-related question, you can call 914.472.9595 to speak with a staff member at Dr. Merissa Blais’s Scarsdale, New York clinic.