Does My Son Need a Retainer?

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I just found out that my son needs a retainer. He's already had braces for the past year and a half. Is this added expense and equipment really necessary?
- Cheryl

Most people who have braces have to wear a retainer for a while after getting their braces off. The most common reason is to help the teeth stay in place. It's important for your child to wear the retainer because after the braces are removed, the teeth can shift (shift occurs even after growth is done, like in teens and adults with braces).

Discuss any concerns with your orthodontist. You can also discuss payment options to figure out a solution that works for you.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: October 2013

Related Resources

OrganizationAmerican Dental Association (ADA) The ADA provides information for dental patients and consumers.
Web SiteHealthy Teeth Produced by dentists, Healthy Teeth is designed for elementary-age students curious about oral health.

Related Articles

The Basics of Braces Does your child need braces? Find out when braces are necessary, what's involved in caring for them, and how to find low-cost orthodontic care in your area.
Keeping Your Child's Teeth Healthy Here are the basics about how to care for your child's teeth - and when.

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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