Retainers can either be removable or fixed to the teeth. They’re most commonly used after another orthodontic treatment to hold teeth in place. Making sure your child wears their retainer as advised is absolutely crucial; failing to do so may cause the teeth to regress. Retainers are made from either plastic or metal, and they’re custom-made for each patient. It is designed to fit over the top of the teeth and should be worn as often as possible, unless advised differently by the orthodontist.
How long does my child need to wear their retainer?
The short answer? For the rest of their life. Retainers need to be worn routinely and regularly to keep teeth straight.
Will the retainer affect my child’s everyday life?
It shouldn’t. You may notice a slight change in their speech initially, but this should go away fairly quickly. Have them read out loud for 30 minutes each day so they can practice speaking with the retainer in their mouth. They may also produce more saliva than normal the first few days, but it isn’t anything to worry about.
How should we care for the retainer?
Retainers need to be cleaned daily to get rid of bacteria, plaque, and bits of food. Some kinds of retainers can be cleaned with regular toothpaste while others cannot, so check with your orthodontist. The retainer should always be soaked when it isn’t being used so it doesn’t dry out. Use cool or warm water, since very hot water can cause plastic retainers to warp.