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Braces

Permanent retainers

07/11/2007

Question:

My 7 year old has a significant crossbite. His dentist has suggested a permanent retainer to help correct this and prevent major surgery on his jaw when he is older. He will be 8 yrs old next month, and still does not have this retainer. About what age do dentist usually apply these? I had a permanent retainer when I was a little younger than him. Thanks.

Answer:

I am assuming that by permanent retainer you are actually referring to a Fixed Palatal Expansion device. Palatal expansion can be done up to age 12 so you have some time to do this procedure. On the other hand, it is usually best to correct crossbites as soon as practical, so I would not wait until age 12 if this were my child.

Although your dentist can legally provide these services for your son, I recommend contacting a Board Certified Orthodontist in your area to have your son evaluated. You can find a list of Board Certified Orthodontists on the internet. This search engine will give you a list of all of the orthodontists in your area. Then look over the list and choose an Orthodontist that is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.

Related Resources:

Find AAO Member Orthodontists

For more information:

Go to the Braces health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mark G Hans, DDS, MSD Mark G Hans, DDS, MSD
Professor of Orthodontics
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University