Kids hate being nagged about anything, but in this case, a reminder (or ten) can work to make sure your child takes care of his/her retainer. Lost retainers are expensive to replace and the risk of tooth shifting escalates when patients go without retainers (especially immediately after getting the braces removed).
- Discuss retainer importance and replacement costs. Sometimes kids simply have no idea how much their retainer costs. Tell them! It might help them see the value and take special care of it.
- Use a bright retainer case. Our orthodontic team provides many color choices for retainer cases in lots of fun colors. Choose a bright color so it’s memorable and easily seen. And always put the retainer in its case when not in use. The most common way of losing your retainer is wrapping it in a napkin and then tossing that napkin in the trash!
- Label the retainer case with your phone number. “If found, call ###########.” Our staff will also label your retainer cases with your childs name using a label maker. If you get lucky and someone does call you about a lost retainer, your child should always have someone with him/her when retrieving the retainer from the caller.
- Keep the retainer and the case in the same spot. You can even sew or glue a special pocket inside your child’s bag (backpack or purse) for the retainer case. It should be the bag they always carry or sleep with, i.e., the bag containing their phone, headset, toiletries, etc.
This way, they can always put the case in that pocket, and look for it there without having to dig through their bag or leaving it by the sink.
Other children have attached their retainer case to a lanyard, as well.
- Have your child make a note and a reminder about their retainer in their phone. All smartphones have built-in Notes: they should put their retainer instructions there. Wear schedules do change over time and the note should be updated accordingly.
We recommend setting a recurring alarm on their phone or smartwatch to remind them when they have to put their retainer in. This starts and then reinforces the habit of using their retainer as they should.
Ask them if they need help. If they’re struggling, your nightly calls while they’re away can include a reminder or you might enlist a friend to remind them.
- Let your orthodontist help you with your summer plans. A visit before you go away not only takes care of your child’s equipment, but also helps your orthodontist give you advice and tips for your child and his/her treatment.
Don’t forget to participate in our My Dentist’s Summer Adventure activity and raffle!!
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.