How can a mouth retainer help your child?
Completing an orthodontic treatment is a big deal. Helping your child have a beautiful, new smile can make them feel proud of his or her accomplishment. Because of the expense and time, we need to ensure your child's results stay the same for many years to come. After their orthodontic treatment is complete, our team can make a retainer that helps maintain the results. A retainer will protect the investment you've made in time and money with orthodontic treatment by keeping your children's teeth in their new position while their jaw and gums stabilize. To serve the needs of our patients, Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates in Lancaster, PA offers several high-quality retainer alternatives, like a fixed or removable retainer. Our pediatric dentists can help you and your teen along the way and talk about all your options.
Types of Retainers
Based on each individual patient, Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates provides our patients with three types of retainers, including a Hawley retainer, clear retainer, or a fixed retainer. A Hawley retainer (the most common type of retainer) is made of molded wires, plastic, and clasps that patients can take out at meals. A transparent retainer is inconspicuously worn just like a clear teeth aligner and can be taken out of the mouth very easily. With a fixed retainer, patients can't take the appliance out of their mouth because we bond it behind the teeth, on both, or just one arch.
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Who is a good candidate for a retainer?
After completing orthodontic treatment, we recommend retainers for everyone. Although your teeth are set in their new position, a retainer helps hold them there while the rest of your mouth adapts. A retainer is great for younger patients waiting for all of their permanent teeth to come in and while their jawbone is still growing.
What to Expect with Retainers
After taking the braces off, we will fit your child for a retainer. We will take an impression of the teeth and ship them to a dental laboratory. In about 1 – 2 weeks, your child can come back for a follow-up appointment and pick up his or her new retainer. At this appointment, we make sure the retainer is comfortable before sending them home. We can also discuss wearing, cleaning, and maintaining the retainer so their teeth stay beautiful and healthy after all that hard work.
How long patients have to wear their retainer will depend on each person. Generally, we recommended wearing the retainer until all of your child's permanent teeth come in and after the jaw has stopped growing. This usually occurs in the early to mid-20s. With good maintenance and regular inspections, the retainer should last a long time. As the years progress, normal wear and tear happen so your child may need to replace his or her retainer. In the meantime, we suggest practicing a good cleaning routine and securely storing the retainer when not using it. If the retainer becomes damaged or lost, please contact our office to learn about the next steps for a new retainer.
Generally, the retainer is included as part of the dental treatment. During your initial consultation, we will provide information about the cost for the retainer, discuss your retainer alternatives, and price estimates for the overall treatment. If you plan on using dental insurance, we'll contact your insurance company to determine if any of your costs are covered, then calculate your out-of-pocket expenses. Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates accepts several payment methods, such as medical financing.
Fixed and Removable Retainers
Keep your child's teeth in their new location after his or her orthodontic therapy with a fixed or removable retainer from Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates. Continuous use of a retainer can help prevent another orthodontic treatment later on. Schedule an appointment with our skilled dentists at our office in Lancaster, PA to find out more about the benefits of retainers.