Braces create a beautiful smile, but the retainer keeps it.  Although retainers for teeth are most commonly used to hold straight teeth in place after braces, the advantages for your kids in wearing their retainers correctly go beyond that. Wearing a retainer can help speech problems. More than likely, though, the greatest challenge of having a new retainer is losing it, commonly to the trash can in the school cafeteria. Getting kids into the habit of wearing their retainer correctly and keeping it safe isn't easy, but knowing its advantages and how to make sure your kids embrace their retainers will help your whole family navigate the process with less stress.

Why Wear a Retainer?

Retainers for teeth are mostly used as the last phase of orthodontic treatment. After the braces have been removed, teeth can shift back to their original position. So, retainers worn overnight (if not longer) can help maintain the position of straightened teeth. Far too often, we see patients who stopped wearing their retainers and lose the progress they made from their braces! 

Chew Away Bacteria

According to the AAPD, straighter teeth are easier to clean, cut down on plaque buildup and reduce the chance of cavities. Additionally, straighter teeth allow people to chew their food more effectively, getting more nutrients from their food. Studies show that chewing food more thoroughly generates more saliva, putting more digestive enzymes to work and cutting down on plaque buildup and cavities. 

Getting in the Habit of Wearing a Retainer

Remember that the time it takes to form a new habit is different for everyone. Be patient, and try to make the process as fun as possible!

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