If your child has dental malocclusions, then an orthodontist will likely recommend braces or plastic aligners to straighten the teeth. Orthodontic treatment can require a few years, but after the major treatment ends, the orthodontist will probably order a customized retainer for your child. This is a device that is made from a combination of metal or plastic to fit over the gum ridges of the mouth or in the palate. The device is removable to clean it several times a day, and your child will also need to remove the item while chewing food or drinking beverages. You might wonder why your child needs to wear a retainer, and these are the reasons the item is recommended by the orthodontist.
Reason 1: Keeping a Child’s Teeth in the Proper Locations
A growing child’s teeth can move again into the wrong positions, leading to additional dental malocclusions. Your child’s orthodontist will make a mold of the mouth to create a retainer that will apply the proper amount of pressure against the teeth. With frequent visits to the orthodontist, you can learn when your child can stop wearing the special orthodontic device. Some children must wear the orthodontic device all of the time, but an orthodontist may permit a child to wear the device only at night.
Reason 2: Preventing Loose Teeth in the Gum Tissue
After your child’s braces are removed or when the aligner treatment ends, the teeth are still loose in the gums and the alveolar bones of the mouth. By using the metal and plastic device to keep the teeth in place, the alveolar bones will have a chance to harden to keep the teeth from shifting again into the wrong places.
Reason 3: Avoiding Lapses in a Child’s Orthodontic Treatment Plan
Before your child begins orthodontic treatment, you will receive information about how long the treatment will last. If your child follows the guidelines concerning the care of the aligners or braces along with consuming a nutritious diet and following proper dental hygiene, then the treatment plan will not change. Wearing the retainer is a valuable part of the treatment plan to keep the teeth from returning to the wrong positions in the gums.
Reason 4: Maintaining an Attractive Smile
You will want your child to have an attractive smile, and this is possible with orthodontic treatment. However, the teeth will return to the wrong positions in only a few months when your child isn’t wearing the metal and plastic device that keeps the teeth in the correct places in the gum tissues.
Reason 5: Having a Functional Bite
When your child has crooked teeth, chewing food is difficult, but aligners or braces will repair a bad bite. Having a functional bite is vitally important to ensure that a child can consume nutritious foods that include fruits and vegetables along with meat, such as beef or poultry. After the primary orthodontic treatment, your child will need a retainer to keep the teeth in the proper positions.