patient at kidzdent holding a retainer

A retainer is a removable device which helps to direct the eruption of a child’s teeth. Interceptive orthodontic treatment is often recommended to guide the growth and development of younger patients.

To best serve our patients orthodontic needs we are focused on providing complete orthodontic treatment which will include early recognition and interceptive treatment. It is our goal to provide early phase orthodontic care with retainers and other appliances with the intention of minimizing or eliminating the need for future orthodontic treatment.

The more we do early, the more opportunity we have to direct the growth and development of the upper and lower jaws. This helps to ensure proper jaw size and prepare the necessary space for the permanent teeth to erupt. These early interventions minimize tooth eruption issues and help our patients to achieve more successful orthodontic treatment. Shorter orthodontic care with braces means less time that patients need to be compliant, lower decay risk and fewer gingival issues.

  • Active tooth movement using retainers and palate expanders
  • Passive appliances to prevent the movement of teeth or space loss by using space maintainers, lower lingual holding arches and nance appliances
  • Habit correction using bluegrass appliances, retainers with bite planes, springs or tongue thumb trainers

These retainers are made of a very durable acrylic with a stainless steel wire that directs the movement of the teeth. They are easy to wear and provide correction for patients with thumb habits, tongue thrust, open bites and flared upper front teeth that are at risk for trauma.

Expansion appliances help to address tooth crowding issues and encourage growth in patients with narrow arches. These expanders provide more space while the stainless steel bow directs the position of the upper front teeth.

The Bluegrass appliance is used to stop thumb sucking and tongue thrusting, by having patients retrain their tongue movement. Patients are directed to spin a small wheel on the appliance near the roof of the mouth behind the front teeth to correct the negative habit.

Retainers may also be worn as an alternative treatment option to traditional braces if you are looking to straighten out crooked teeth or a misaligned bite and only minor movement is needed. In some cases, a removable retainer may be all that is necessary.

After a thorough assessment and treatment plan, one of our pediatric dentists or Family orthodontists will design a customized appliance to meet your treatment needs. They will also walk you through the process of wearing and cleaning your appliance.

When it comes to proper oral care and orthodontics, retainers are a very common recommendation, regardless of age. The two most crucial aspects regarding why one of our doctors will include a retainer in a patient’s treatment plan is active tooth movement and treatment followed by long term retention to maintain the desired results. Teeth will naturally shift, or ‘settle’, into the positioning where the most contact occurs and retainers will prevent teeth from moving back or becoming misaligned.


  • Basic, general health questions
  • A thorough clinical examination
  • Impressions of the patient’s teeth
  • Photos of your face and teeth
  • Diagnostic radiographs of the mouth and profile

An appropriate treatment plan is made based on analysis of the gathered information.

Now that your teeth will be settling into a newly aligned bite, it is important to avoid relapse back into your old bite.

  • Patients may need to wear their retainer for 24 hours a day for the first three months, except for at meal time, allowing teeth to truly stabilize.
  • One of our orthodontists may recommend that a patient continues to wear a retainer for at least part of every day after this first 12-month period to maintain a new, straightened position.
  • Some may recommend that a patient wears their retainer just at bedtime.

  • Customized to fit the exact shape and placement of your teeth to hold your teeth in the places to which treatment originally has guided them.
  • Can either be removable or fixed

  • To correct tooth position which hinders speech
  • Improve breathing issues cause by misaligned bite
  • Prevent the harmful wear on tooth enamel
  • Reduce chances or the possibility of joint issues

Proper upkeep of a patient’s retainer is equally important to the process. Patients should be sure to gently brush and rinse their retainer every single day.

KidZdent and Family Orthodontics will work hard to achieve straight teeth and a proper bite for each and every patient. When the desired results are achieved, patients will be instructed on how to wear their retainer as well as the appropriate follow up appointment schedule.

Have questions or need any help from our team? Reach out to us below and one of our team members will get in touch with you as soon as we see your request.