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.