Previously, we have discussed about retainers for children, the different types of retainers and the reasons for wearing it. Like any orthodontic devices, there are some guidelines on how to wear it as well as the proper way of caring it to prevent damage.

Getting Fitted

Your dentist will fit your child for the retainer using a material called alginate. It is a chalky, sticky, thick substance that creates a mold of your teeth and oral cavity when you sink them in. The process of fitting is painless and fast. Alginate comes in different flavors and does not taste bad.

The finished retainer can be custom designed to express your likes and style. You can have a picture of your child’s favourite cartoon hero or any design on the plastic part of the retainer. After getting fitted for the retainer, it usually takes less than a week to get it.

Wearing a Retainer

Wearing a retainer feels unusual and weird at first, but that’s normal. You can see your dentist to adjust it if the retainer causes rubs, pain or cuts against your gums. Initially, you will need to get used to talking with it.  Talk slowly at first to practice and later on, you will even notice that you’re wearing it.

Dentists suggest reading aloud every day for few minutes. You will notice an increase in saliva flow in the 3 days of wearing your retainer, which is normal.

Retainer Care Guide Tips

When you are wearing a retainer, plaque, bacteria and leftover food residue sticks to it. Hence, it is important to clean your retainer every day. But be sure to ask your dentist on how to clean your retainer because certain types shouldn’t be cleaned using a toothpaste. You can submerge it in a mouthwash or use a denture-cleaning solution to kill germs and freshen it up.

Since the plastic portion of your retainer may crack if it becomes too dry, you needs to always soak it when you’re not using it. Plastic easily melts or warp so never soak it in hot water and place it near a heat source such as on a cooking stove. Also, never bend the wires. Flipping the retainer when inside your mouth might bend the wires.

Another important way in taking care of your retainer is to never lose it. Retainers can be quite pricey and you might have to spend for a damaged or lost retainer. Teach your child to always keep it in its container. Teach them to look and check their lunch tray before dumping it. Place it in the same spot when at home when they’re not wearing it.