7 Care Tips You Should Know for Kids' Retainers
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Orthodontic treatment is best done at an early age. This is true for many reasons. Firstly, children are developing so their oral cavity too will be in its developmental stage. Orthodontic intervention during this time can easily help fix children’s smiles and prevent any future misalignment issues too.
Unlike adults, the duration of an average braces treatment for a child is smaller. But many children think that once their braces are off, they are free from all orthodontic devices. Well, that’s not true. Dental retainers for teeth retainers are an essential leg of orthodontic treatment for correcting misalignments. And for the growing and moving teeth that children generally have, it is vital to use a retainer to keep their corrected teeth in place.
But how do children go about wearing retainers and caring for them in the right way? In this article, we will guide you through all the important retainer care tips you should know about.
Retainer Care Tips For Kids
1. Listening to your dentist’s instructions
When your child finally completes their braces treatment, their doctor will suggest braces and inform you about some tips on how to take care of retainers. Ensure that your child pays attention to the doctor during this time and ask the dentist any questions you have. Making a note of these things or picking up an instruction manual about retainer care can help you greatly.
2. Wearing the retainers as advised
Orthodontists generally prescribe different durations of retainer wear for different cases. Make sure to remember the times prescribed and urge your child to wear them correctly at that time.
Generally, at the initial phase, dentists prescribe wearing the retainers all day. Slowly this transitions into wearing them only at night for a few months! Sometimes though, in very advanced cases, your child may have to wear their braces for life. Check with their orthodontist and make sure to get your child to wear them correctly for the prescribed amount of time.
3. Retainer rules while eating or drinking
If your child has removable retainers, ask them to remove them each time they eat or drink something. This way, the retainers stay safe from damage and staining too. Eating with retainers on might disfigure the retainers and even cause some food particles to get stuck to them.
Once your kid has eaten, make them wash their teeth or brush them. Follow this up with a retainer rinse and then make them wear their retainers. This will keep the teeth and the retainers free from food particles, stains and damage.
4. Prioritising oral hygiene
While oral hygiene is important for any kid, for those undergoing orthodontic treatment it is even more important to prioritise oral hygiene. To do so, you must choose a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small round head for your child. Using a soft-bristled electric toothbrush like makeO toothsi electro can help keep your kid’s teeth clean, plaque-free and germ-free too.
Along with this toothbrush, make sure to choose a good fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride mouthwash too. Even instilling a flossing habit once a day can really up your child’s oral care game and keep their teeth safe, healthy and white!
5. Store the retainers safely
As a habit, teach your child to always store their retainers safely in their retainer box when they are not in use. Most removable retainers are made from plastic or similar materials and when they come in contact with really hot or cold temperatures, they can change shape. If you want to protect the efficacy of your child’s retainers, teach them how to clean and store their retainers in their case and away from heat.
6. Clean retainers with gentle solutions
Instead of opting for very harsh chemicals like bleach or alcohol-based cleaning solutions, look for gentler cleaners for your child’s retainers. If you are confused about which one to use, ask the orthodontist or choose makeO toothsi’s aligner cleaning solution!
7. Visit the dentist for regular checkups
Lastly but more importantly, it is necessary for your child to visit the dentist every few weeks to check on the progress, assess the teeth for any issues and answer any issues or doubts about the treatment.
In short, retainers, especially removable retainers for kids do require maintenance and care. When your child is prescribed retainers, you must note down the doctor’s instructions, prioritise their oral hygiene, teach them how to clean and store their retainers and ensure that they are wearing their retainers for the correct duration!
How do you clean a child's retainer?
You can use water and baking soda. You can also look for gentle aligner cleaning solutions like the one from makeO toothsi to ensure that you are avoiding harsh chemicals!
How long should the child wear a retainer?
The duration of retainer wear depends on the severity of the correction. It could be 3-6 months or even a lifetime!
What age should a child get a retainer?
From 7-8 years old, a child is eligible for orthodontic intervention like braces and retainers.
Can I brush my retainer with toothpaste?
No, do not use anything sharp or pointed on your retainers. This could cause scratches and damage. Rinse them in water or soak them in water and a cleaning solution for the best results.
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