Let’s Get This Straight: Q&A About Retainers

Hooray — the time has come, your child’s braces are coming off! No more needing to avoid certain foods or use specialized tools for cleaning, but you’re not out of the woods just yet. 

Children’s teeth continue to grow and shift into adulthood, which is why there is a crucial second step to keeping their smiles perfect — retainers. Here are some answers to the most common retainer questions. 

1. Why Does My Child Have To Wear A Retainer?
Nothing is permanent in orthodontics! We help align the teeth, but they can move after braces come off — defeating the purpose of all that hard work! Consistent retainer use will help keep their teeth straight and keep you from coming back for braces for the second time, phew!

2. What Kind Of Retainer Will They Get? 
There are multiple kinds of retainers, fixed and removable, which will be chosen based off which one is best for your child’s individual needs. 

3. How Long Will My Child Have To Wear A Retainer? 
Typically, the first six months after braces are removed, retainers should be worn every day. Over time, the teeth will stabilize, and your child can wear their retainer more infrequently — delivering that news will be a good day!

4. How Can I Help My Child Care For Their Retainer?
First, always make sure your child is carrying the plastic case made to hold their retainer. If they are eating at school or on a playdate, you want to make sure that when they take off their retainer, it is in a safe place and doesn’t contract germs. Your child should remove their retainer before brushing in the morning and at night and clean their retainer before placing it back in their mouth. Give us a call if you have any cleaning questions.

5. Will A Retainer Hurt Them? 
Each retainer is custom fit to a child’s mouth. If they continuously wear it when they are supposed to, it should fit comfortably and not hurt. If your child moves away from the consistent use of their retainer, their teeth will shift, and the retainer will feel tight in their mouth. Help them to remember they can avoid any discomfort and keep their beautiful smile if they consistently wear their retainer.

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding your child’s orthodontic health, please give our offices a call!