When your El Dorado Hils or Fair Oaks orthodontist removes your child’s braces, the orthodontist will give your child a retainer! This retainer will be worn for a certain period of time so that the teeth don’t return to the original positions before the orthodontic treatment.
Types of Retainers
Our orthodontists may recommend one of the two types of retainers. These two types are:
Removable retainers. These are retainers that your child can take in and out from time to time for a variety of reasons. For example, your child may remove the retainer before they eat. Removable retainers are usually flexible and made from plastic or other similar materials. The experts at Lyons Orthodontics will set a customized routine that your child will follow when wearing these removable aligners. For example, Dr. Tim Lyons may recommend that your child wears the retainer for at least 20 hours each day for the first three months after the braces are removed. From there, the child should wear the retainer only at night for another six or so months. These instructions will depend on the needs of the child and the status of their teeth.
Fixed retainers. As the name suggests, a fixed retainer can only be removed at the end of the set period after being fitted in your child’s mouth. These retainers are made from thin stainless steel wires, which Dr. Tim Lyons binds to the back of your child’s teeth.
How Do Retainers Work?
When braces are removed after treating your child, there is a risk that the teeth will “relapse” and return to their original positions. However, the retainer prevents this by holding the teeth in place until the jaw bone grows around the teeth holding them firmly in place.
For some kids, a retainer may be provided even if they did not previously have braces. This happens if a dentist finds that one or a few teeth are out of position or they have another minor defect. If the situation doesn’t call for braces or other more serious orthodontic treatment, then a retainer can be recommended to address the dental problem.
Retainers could also be helpful if your kid suffers from TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, has a tongue thrust, or suffers from bruxism.
Getting Your Child Fitted for a Retainer
When you take your child to Lyons Orthodontics to be fitted for a retainer, our team will use a material called alginate to get a dental impression of your child’s mouth. This material is thick and chewy, and your child will be asked to pick their favorite flavor so that the impression-taking process is as pleasant as possible! Then, the mold then goes to the lab where the custom retainer will be made. The plastic segment of the retainer can even be customizable! For example, your child could choose an image of their favorite cartoon character to print on the retainer.
After about a week, Dr. Tim Lyons will fit the retainer to your child’s teeth. It may take a few days for your child to adjust to talking with the retainer in the mouth, but with a little practice, everything will return to normal. The Folsom orthodontist suggests that you encourage your child to read out loud for a few minutes every day to get used to speaking with the retainer in place.
How to Take Care of a Retainer
Your child will use their retainer in his or her mouth each day for months or even years to come. This means that the retainer will be exposed to oral bacteria, food particles, and plaque. Therefore, it is important that your child cleans the retainer every day. Talk to an orthodontist in Fair Oaks for advice on how to clean the retainer that your child has been given.
Another important aspect of caring for a retainer is to prevent it from drying out. This is especially important for removable retainers since they can spend a while out of the mouth. Dr. Fadi Farhart in Sterling Heights, MI, recommends that your child makes it a habit to place the retainer in its container with plain water, which will keep the material pliable.
In addition, avoid putting the retainer in hot water or any other hot fluid since the material could warp or get damaged. When the retainer loses its shape, it will be less capable of keeping your child’s teeth straight. So what would be the point? In the same vein, don’t place the retainer on a heat source, such as the radiator in your room.
While some parents may not immediately see the value of a retainer case, it is a very important way of taking care of the retainer. The retainer case provides a safe place where the retainer can be kept temporarily when it is out of the mouth. This way, the retainer will be less likely to be lost or misplaced.
If you still have questions, contact Lyons Orthodontics at [email protected]. All your questions will be answered, and your child’s orthodontic needs will be met by our team of dedicated professionals! After all, life is better with the beautiful smile of your kids to grace it!