So your child has had braces for the last several months and they’ve finally come off. It’s quite the relief for both of you. What won’t be a relief, however, is if all that work gets undone because your child struggles to remember to wear their retainer. The good news is that there are some things you can do to help them remember.
Helpful Reminder Notes
At first, it may be tough to remember to put a retainer back in after brushing your teeth. Writing little reminder notes to help your child remember to put their retainers back in could be helpful. Make sure to put them in places where they’ll definitely be seen. Attaching them to the bathroom mirror or the inside of the bathroom door could work. You could even leave fun little notes inside the retainer case as an incentive to remember to put the retainer in its case during mealtimes and when brushing or flossing.
Choosing Specific Places for Cases
Keeping the retainer in its case when it’s not being used can help keep it protected from damage and dirt alike. Of course, in order to put the case to use, it can’t be lost. It’s a lot easier to keep track of the case when there is a designated place for it to belong. Help your child choose specific places to keep the case in their room and school bag to reduce the risk of it getting lost.
Understanding the Reason for Retainers
It can be a lot easier to remember to do something when you understand the reason why. Help your child understand the reason for wearing their retainer so they know why it matters. They’ve just spent several months or years wearing braces to straighten their teeth. This helps them look their best and stay healthier. Wearing a retainer as directed will help maintain the results from the braces for the rest of their life.
Wearing a retainer is an important part of making sure that the results that have come from the braces are permanent. It will be important to wear the retainer around the clock for the first 3-6 months after the braces have been removed except to eat, brush, and floss. After that, it will be important to wear them at night every night for as long as you want to have straight teeth. Help your child make wearing their retainer a habit so they’ll enjoy the benefits of the braces treatment their whole life.
If you think you’re noticing kids getting orthodontic treatment earlier and earlier, you’re right. Read this next to find out why: Why are kids getting orthodontics earlier?