Caring for your Retainers

Pediatric Dentist Marlton

Most comprehensive orthodontic treatments will involve the use of braces or aligners. In either case, the treatment involves minor movement of your child’s teeth to correct misalignment. This ensures both a straight smile and an even bite.

However, braces are not the only stage needed for a permanent orthodontic solution. Once your child’s braces have been taken off, the retention phase begins. It is vitally important to follow through with retention to maintain your child’s newly straight smile after treatment. Your child’s final orthodontic results depend on their retainer, so be sure to keep their appointments with Dr. Krishna Patel even after their braces have been removed.

There are a few distinct types of retainers that may be recommended:

  • Clear Retainers – A removable, transparent plastic tray that fits over your child’s teeth.
  • Traditional Retainers – A removable appliance made of acrylic and a wire that sits on the front side of the teeth.
  • Bonded Retainer – A thin, fixed wire that is temporarily bonded to the lingual (tongue) side of the anterior teeth.

Dr. Patel will provide you and your child with the retainer option that is best suited for their orthodontic treatment plan. Their retainer should be worn as often as instructed. Your child’s teeth have been in active treatment for months or even years. Wearing your retainer is crucial for ensuring that your teeth do not shift back out of their corrected positions.

When it is not in your mouth, your child should keep their retainer in its case. Bacteria can build up on their retainer, making it less hygienic and affecting the fit. Regular cleaning to remove these bacteria is a vital part of proper retainer care. To clean the retainer, brush it gently with a wet toothbrush. Disinfect your child’s retainer by soaking it in a cleansing solution. Thoroughly rinse the appliance with cold or room- temperature water before placing it back in their mouth. Hot water can cause the retainer to lose its proper shape, so should be avoided.

For more information about proper care and use of retainers, contact our office.