When the patients braces have been removed, an orthodontic retainer is given to the patient. There are two major reasons why retainers are needed.
- Retainers retain the teeth in the corrected position. When teeth are moved, the ligaments holding the teeth to the bone are stretched and it takes approximately one year for the relaxation of these fibres to occur. If retainers are not worn during at least six months, teeth can relapse or move into undesirable positions.
- The second most common reason to wear removed retainers post treatment is to allow some minor, slight final changes in tooth positioning. For example, by tightening the labial bow on the retainer, small spaces can be closed and minor changes in tooth position can be achieved using springs.
There are 2 common types of Hawley retainers that we supply; a regular Hawley with Labial Bow from the distal of the 3’s or a Wraparound or Circumferential Hawley which has the labial now extending to the most distal of the teeth, it wraps around the distal of the 6’s and is secured in the palatal acrylic .
The Wraparound or circumferential appliance is a good choice for patients with very tight occlusion where crossing over the occlusion with the standard 3-3 labial now is undesirable, or when some settling of the occlusion is desired.