orthodontist for kids

Does My Child Need to Wear a Retainer for the Rest of Their Life?

Posted on November 13, 2023

orthodontist for kids

Retainers are used to keep teeth in place and are frequently used after someone has had braces or Invisalign aligners to straighten their teeth. In the past, patients might only be directed to wear retainers for a few years after using a tooth realignment method. However, these days, an orthodontist for kids will typically recommend that patients wear their retainers indefinitely.

How Often Should Your Child Wear a Retainer?

Teeth tend to shift back to their original position. This means that after you straighten your teeth, they may slowly drift back to where they were before you used braces. Even if the teeth do not shift all the way back to their original position, they could drift out of alignment.

A retainer will help your teeth retain their straightened position. During the first four to 10 months, after braces have been removed or aligners are no longer needed, your child should wear their retainer as much as possible. According to WebMD, you may have to initially wear your retainer anywhere between 12 hours and 23 hours a day. You can take it out while eating and at other times but should wear it at night and as often as possible during the day.

An orthodontist for kids will recommend a specific length of time for your child to wear their retainer on a regular basis. Eventually, your child will be able to wear their retainer on a part-time basis, such as at night. That said, they may have to wear it at least part of the time indefinitely.

Wearing a Retainer for Life

Dental experts will often recommend that someone wear their retainer for at least 10 years on a part-time basis. That said, it’s a smart idea to use the retainer for the rest of your life. You will not have to wear it for 24 hours at a time, of course. However, it’s a good idea to continue to wear it at night at least a few times a week. This will help ensure that your teeth remain in alignment.

In some cases, your orthodontist will give you a green light to stop wearing a retainer. In other cases, your local orthodontist may recommend that a permanent retainer be installed behind your teeth. This can greatly reduce the risk of your teeth shifting.

As you can see, there are a lot of concerns and factors to consider when it comes to wearing a retainer. If you’d like to learn more, reach out to our team at Jacaranda Smiles to speak to a professional orthodontist for kids today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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