A Mom’s Guide to Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Straight After Braces

Raising a child is an investment – and a joyous experience – like no other. Parents put plenty of work into taking care of their children, including orthodontic treatment that can help with their kids’ confidence, happiness, and overall well-being.

Considering what a big and important investment orthodontic treatment is, what can parents do to ensure that their child maintains that great smile throughout the years?  Are there different options?  What are the types of retainers available?

Realize that Orthodontic Treatment Doesn’t Stop with Braces

Is your child getting ready to get their braces off or completing their Invisalign treatment? It’s crucial that everyone realizes that their teeth will not stay aligned without the proper after-treatment care.

Throughout our lives, there is a potential for tooth movement.  Meaning that we have to prevent this change even after orthodontic treatment. This is usually done with the use of retainers.

The Types of Retainers

There are two general types of retainers available to patients to keep their teeth straight: fixed and removable.

  • Fixed Retainers – Fixed retainers (or permanent retainers) are glued to the teeth.  They are put in place to remain there, in most cases, permanently.
  • Removable Retainers – Removable retainers, on the other hand, are usually worn full-time in the early stages, then only at night for the long term.

Both types of retainers have pros and cons. Some type of retainer is necessary to maintain the position of teeth after orthodontic treatment due to the potential for shifting. Some may experience a small shifting, but for others it may be significant shifting post-treatment.

You put time and money into gifting your child with a beautiful smile. Why have it go to waste by not investing in a retainer?

What Type of Retainer is Right for Your Child?

It’s important for parents to consider carefully which type of retainer is right for their child. Fixed retainers are great for maintaining alignment as they cannot be removed. They do, however, require maintenance occasionally and can be broken.  It’s also imperative that you check their cleanliness regularly. For many teenage patients, our team recommends a lower fixed retainer, and sometimes an upper fixed retainer. This provides the teeth with more stability and security to maintain good alignment.

For some, removable retainers are the right choice. They can be taken out as needed, however, they will need to be replaced periodically, usually after several years. No matter your choice in retainers, it’s important that they are cared for. Teach your child to clean them properly.  Also, if they have removable retainers, ensure that they’re put back in their case after each use.

Retainers are a long-term investment – there will be occasional repair fees and the eventual cost of replacement.  But with good care and attention, these costs can be minimized.

Managing the Cost of Retainers

One cost-effective way of purchasing retainers is to order several pairs at the conclusion of your initial orthodontic treatment. Invisalign offers Vivera retainers that come in sets of four. This option not only saves you money versus buying single retainers.  You can rest assured that your child has back-ups in case of damage or loss.

Just like anything else, retainers will not work if they’re not worn. Parents should be actively teaching and encouraging your child to wear their retainers correctly and take care of them over time. You know your children best, so you’re best equipped to provide your child with the proper motivation to keep their retainers clean and in good shape.

Whether you choose a fixed retainer or a removable retainer, make sure that you’re investing in the right one from a professional orthodontist. If you’re interested in booking an appointment with our retainer experts, call us today.

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