What Is a Retainer for Teeth?

If your child has braces, you may be wondering about next steps. After braces come off, the teeth are still at risk for shifting. That’s where retainers come in.

Retainers for teeth are used to prevent shifting from occurring, and every child who has braces typically has to wear a retainer for a period of time determined by an orthodontist.

Types of Retainers for Teeth

There are two different types of retainers for teeth—fixed and removable. The type your child gets is usually determined by the orthodontist.

Fixed Retainers

Fixed retainers for teeth are a great option for children who might have trouble remembering to wear their retainer every day. This type uses a wire that is stretched across the backs of the teeth and is cemented in place.

Because fixed retainers are bonded to the backs of the teeth, they cannot be removed and have to be carefully cleaned. However, they are usually the most effective at keeping teeth in place because kids can’t take them out and forget to put them back in.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers typically consist of a wire that goes across the front of the teeth and an acrylic piece with hooks that holds the wire in place. This type of retainer can be taken out and cleaned, and it also makes it easier for children to brush and floss their teeth.

It is usually recommended that children wear their removable retainers night and day for at least three months, and after that they may be worn only at night.

While removable retainers are less work to keep clean than fixed retainers, they can be easily lost or damaged. It can also be difficult for children to remember to wear their retainer as instructed.

Orthodontics at Kool Smiles

If you think your child may need braces, or if you have questions about braces and retainers, Kool Smiles can help. Kool Smiles is a dentist office for kids that offers orthodontic services at many of our locations.

Find your local Kool Smiles dental office and make an appointment for your child today. Our dentists will be able to let you know if braces or a retainer is needed.

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Sources:

Colgate: http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/early-orthodontics/article/sw-281474979274545