Kids’ Dental Retainers

Kids dental retainers - Lyons Orthodontics

Kids dental retainers - Lyons OrthodonticsWhen 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!


Brushing with Braces

lyons orthodontics brushing with braces - Lyons Orthodontics

lyons orthodontics brushing with bracesSo, you have your new set of braces? Congratulations! Our Lyons Orthodontics Team couldn’t be more excited for you to get the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Now all you have to do is take good care of your teeth. We’re happy to help you along your journey, just follow the steps below if you’re brushing with braces. 

How to Brush Your Teeth with Braces

Pick the Right Toothbrush. Brushing with braces can seem tricky at first. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. You may need to have two kinds of toothbrushes for this task. First, you will need an ordinary soft-bristled toothbrush, and you will also need a proxabrush. A proxabrush resembles the structure of a Christmas tree, and this unusual toothbrush design is helpful when you are cleaning around the wires of your braces. Orthodontists in El Dorado Hill, CA, suggest that you use the ordinary brush first. You’ll clean your teeth using up and down motions. You can then use the proxabrush to clean the surfaces of the teeth that have wires. In this way, all parts of your teeth are cleaned during each session.

Floss Thoroughly. Dr. Tim Lyons explains that people who wear braces have to be more vigilant when flossing because the wires and brackets add to the places where food particles and plaque can accumulate. So, make sure you pay extra attention while flossing each day so that you remove any accumulations. Any type of floss, such as a Waterpik or a reusable floss threader, will work best.

Rinse Your Mouth and Teeth. The orthodontists at Lyons Orthodontics recommend that you add to your oral care routine is rinsing your teeth. Rinsing is not only a quick and easy method but also effective. It is best to use an antibacterial mouthwash since this can ward off gingivitis while helping to flush any accumulations on your teeth and braces.

Clean Removable Devices. If you have Invisalign clear aligners, then your oral health care routine will be a little different. You’ll want to remove your aligners daily so that you can clean out the bacteria and plaque. Use the denture-cleaning solution recommended by your orthodontist in El Dorado Hill, CA.

How Frequently Should I Clean My Braces?

Even without braces, it is appropriate to brush and floss daily. People with braces are particularly advised to have a toothbrush with them at all times, if possible. This will allow them to brush after every meal.

If that isn’t possible, Dr. Tim Lyons recommends that you rinse your mouth with plain water to remove food particles caught between the wires of your braces.

Foods to Avoid If You Wear Braces

Yes, wearing braces imposes some restrictions on your food choices, but these are intended to safeguard the braces and your oral health from preventable problems. Generally speaking, you should refrain from eating any hard or sticky foods since these pose the biggest risk to your braces and teeth. Such foods include caramel, hard candies, gum, popcorn, and nuts.

Dr. Long Luu, an orthodontist in Folsom, CA, cautions that care regarding what you expose your teeth and braces to extends to non-food items, such as ice, pencils, and fingernails. Don’t chew these objects because you may damage your braces and teeth.

Final Thoughts

Dr. Tim Lyons and his team will give you specific care instructions to follow once you get your braces. Make sure you follow those instructions so that you can get your beautiful smile within the expected treatment time. We strongly urge you to attend every follow-up appointment as scheduled. Lyons Orthodontics looks forward to the day you complete your treatment so that we can celebrate together once your braces are finally removed! If you ever have any questions, contact Lyons Orthodontics, and we’ll be happy to assist you.