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FAQ:  Orthodontics - Children - Teens

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Retainers: My son's orthodontist is about to install permanent retainers on my son's teeth.

There was not even a prior consultation about this. Are "permanent" retainers a common practice now? What is the benefit? Permanent sounds a very intimidating.

My son is 13 and is about to have his braces removed. ....Visitor from IN

Many times in the initial consultation retainers are not discussed because the main focus is the diagnosis, the specific treatment plan, estimated time in braces and cost.

Once treatment is completed, this is when we discuss with the parents about retention of the newly aligned teeth.

To answer your questions:
Yes, the bonded retainer has become a very common practice amongst all orthodontists. The best form of retention is permanent.

Now, permanent does not mean it can't be removed by your orthodontist at anytime, but rather that the retainer will be worn 24/7 and your child cannot remove it.

The major benefit is, in most orthodontic cases, the majority of relapse will occur across the lower front teeth and this permanent bar will protect this and your investment.

The alternative is a bulky removable retainer, which I will guarantee you most children will not wear on a regular basis. Eventually misalignment will occur.

This is the only type of retention I have used over the last 17 years and it is great to see parents bringing their children who I treated when I first started my practice with straight lower teeth because the permanent retainer is still in place.

Editorial Staff

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