Whether gracefully or clumsily, your child has made his or her way into the braces phase of life and is now taking it with stride. One day, your child came home telling you about some kids at school who always seem to take this strange piece of metal out of their mouths and put it in a plastic container before each time they eat a meal. Your child may have also noticed that those same kids at one point also had to endure having braces. Well, the good news is that this talk won’t be nearly as bad as the birds and the bees. Here’s how to explain what a retainer is and the purpose it will serve in the years to come, as explained by an orthodontist Saddle River can count on.
What Does It Do?
A retainer is a piece of metal and plastic that a person puts in his or her mouth during the months after having braces removed, in order to prevent his or her teeth from returning to their crooked original state. It is customized to fit the shape of the person’s mouth, so as to minimize any discomfort. For that reason, no matter how similar they may appear, retainers can and should never be shared between two people.
Be sure to let your child know that retainers are actually super common. Many kids have them and it’s nothing weird. Reassure him or her that if he or she needs to eventually wear a retainer, that there’s nothing to be self conscious about. In fact, pretty much everyone who has ever worn braces has to wear a retainer once the braces are removed.
Another reason that people get retainers are if they are having some problems with speech. A retainer can help with pronunciation if someone has developed a speech impediment at an early age. It can also help with other medical issues that you can learn more about upon asking your Saddle River orthodontist.
How Long To Wear It For
Explain how depending on the circumstances, the orthodontist may say your child must wear his or her retainer for one month, three months, or longer, all day. Then, after completing that first phase, the orthodontist will usually recommend still wearing the retainer, but only to bed. Wearing your retainer at night can be done for as long as the patient desires. Some people continue to wear their retainers for years, sometimes even decades, seeing as how it’s keeping everything in place and not causing any harm or embarrassment. It’s really up to each individual. Some patients only have to wear their retainers at night from the start.
Getting your retainer is a milestone. A small one, but still, it’s a milestone nonetheless. Learn more about how to make your child’s milestones with the dentist go as smoothly as possible by signing your child up to become a Pediatric Dental Associates’s orthodontist Saddle River patient. Find out more by calling us at 201-652-7020.