Orthodontic Retainers

We believe that it is never too late to improve your smile, but why wait? Parents, help your children be proactive in improving and maintaining great dental hygiene and oral care. Going in for regular check-ups and even taking that extra step of investing in children’s orthodontics (such as braces) can both improve your child’s quality of health and happiness.

What is an Orthodontic Retainer?

In at least the first year after braces are removed, there is a great possibility that the teeth will move or relapse. No parent or child wants to negate the investment of braces. The purpose of orthodontic retainers is to keep the teeth in place while the mouth settles after braces. Generally one year of retention is absolutely necessary after your child’s braces are removed because it can take that long for the newly aligned teeth to adjust in the bone and tissue. For a child with gaps between teeth prior to braces, healing and settling often takes longer than twelve months.

There are two kinds of retainers that are worn after braces.

  • Removable retainers – slide to fit behind teeth; can be removed
  • Fixed retainers -­‐ attached behind your teeth and should not be removed unless done so by your child’s orthodontist

A retainer is either made of plastic, metal, or both, and it’s designed from a mold of your teeth and mouth.

How Long Is A Retainer Worn?

While some orthodontic retainers should be worn at all times for a specified amount of weeks or months upon removal of braces, eventually some removable retainers can be worn just at night while sleeping rather than throughout the day.

Many orthodontists recommend having retention or a type of retainer in at all times to keep the teeth from moving back to their previous positions. This is because your face and mouth are forever growing and maturing with age, and children’s mouths are growing at an especially rapid pace. Fixed retainers are a win. Plus, they do not affect your child’s speech and cannot be lost around the house or school.

Please encourage your children to wear retainers when specified so that more braces are not needed in the future. It does not matter if your child just had their braces taken off or it has been seven years since they’ve had braces. Let the children’s orthodontics specialists at Snodgrass-­‐King keep your child’s smile as bright as their future.

Tips and Tricks of the Tooth Trade

For children with removable retainers, ensure that they keep the retainer box nearby at all times for easy access. Hearing about how your child had to dig through the lunchroom trash after wrapping the retainer in a napkin and accidently throwing it away is a nightmare. Also, make sure that your child is cleaning the removable orthodontic retainer well. Any object that is supposed to go into anyone’s mouth should be clean… especially an orthodontic appliance. For children with fixed retainers, proper brushing and flossing are needed around the back of the teeth touching the retainer.

Parents, braces are not an end all to problem teeth and jaws without follow‐up care. Children’s orthodontics is important to guaranteeing that new and beautiful smile stays in the future.

Braces: Before and After

You can see how great your smile will look after braces. Ensure they stay that way with proper retainer care!
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