As a parent, you want the best for your child’s dental health. And after undergoing orthodontic treatment, you may wonder if your child will need to continue to wear a retainer as an adult.

Remember: retainers are an essential part of the orthodontic treatment process and ensure that your child’s newly straightened teeth remain in their correct positions.

In this guide, we will explain what retainers are, why they are essential, and what to expect for your child’s retention phase.

Retainers 101

After your child completes their braces treatment, their orthodontist will fit them with a retainer. This is because, after orthodontic treatment, the teeth have a tendency to shift back to their previous position.

“Retainers are pieces of plastic or metal that are custom-made for each person,” according to Colgate. “No two retainers are the same. They’re made to match the shape of your mouth and the alignment of your teeth.”

Specifically, post-care misalignment occurs due to the surrounding jawbone tissue, which may tend to pull them back. Thus, retainers work by imparting forces on teeth to maintain their position after the braces have been removed.

As explained by Cleveland Clinic, there are two main types of retainers:

  • Fixed retainers are bonded to the back of your child’s teeth
  • Removable retainers are worn in the mouth like a mouthguard or aligner

The retention phase of care, where they first begin to wear their retainers, is especially important to ensure lasting results.

Reviewing the Retention Phase

The “retention phase” usually lasts a year or more, depending on your child’s case. During this time, they will have to wear their retainers regularly as instructed by the orthodontist to maintain their orthodontic treatment results.

During this phase, your child’s orthodontist will see your child frequently to monitor the teeth’s movements and make sure that the retainer is working correctly.

Wearing a retainer regularly may feel uncomfortable at first, but your child will get used to them within a few days or weeks.

So, do adults need to wear retainers?

The answer is yes!

First of all, “without a phase of retention, there is a tendency for teeth to return to their initial position (relapse),” research shows. “To prevent relapse, almost every person who has orthodontic treatment will require some type of retention.”

Retainers are not only designed for children but adult patients who undergo orthodontic treatment are also required to wear retainers.

Most of the time, children will also need to continue to wear retainers into adulthood. After all, the human body is always evolving, and the teeth tend to shift throughout life.

All Smiles With Setzer, Cochran, and Soares

In conclusion, retainers are an essential component of orthodontic treatment.

After completing the braces phase, your Setzer, Cohran, and Soares Pediatric Dentistry orthodontist will fit your child with a retainer to ensure that their teeth remain in the correct position.

Retainers come in different types, and your orthodontist will choose one that suits your child’s needs. During the retention phase, it is essential to follow the orthodontist’s instructions and attend all appointments as scheduled.

And to reiterate, retainers are not only meant for children, but adults must also wear them to maintain their orthodontic treatment results.

So, are you ready to introduce your family to our board-certified team of pediatric dental experts? Then contact us today to schedule an appointment with Setzer, Cohran, and Soares Pediatric Dentistry! We look forward to keeping your child’s smile both happy and healthy when you dial (904) 733-7254 to get started.