Orthodontic Retention

You've worked hard for your beautiful smile; keep it that way!

Finally, your braces have been removed and your smile is beautiful, straight, and best of all, metal-free! However, your orthodontic journey isn't quite completed. To keep your smile looking its best, you'll have to wear a retainer to preserve and stabilize your results. Retainers are needed to control or limit potential changes in tooth position. They are used after braces treatment to hold teeth in their correct alignment while the surrounding gums, bone, and muscle adjust to the new positioning of your teeth.

Types of Retainers

Retainers are custom-made and can be removable or fixed.

  • Traditional removable retainers typically include a metal wire that surrounds the front teeth and is attached to an acrylic arch that sits in the roof of the mouth. The metal wires can be adjusted to finish treatment and continue minor movement of the front teeth as needed.
  • Aligner-style retainers, or Essix retainers, look similar to clear aligners and offer a more aesthetic alternative to wire retainers. This clear retainer may fit over the entire arch of your teeth, or only from canine to canine (clip-on retainer). It is produced from a mold of your newly aligned teeth.
  • Fixed retainers consist of wires bonded behind the bottom and/or top teeth. While the device is usually required no more than a year after wisdom teeth have been extracted, it is often kept in place for life.

Pros and Cons

  • Removable retainers can be taken out for eating and hygiene routines.
  • Removable retainers can get lost easily, so remember to keep yours in the case whenever you remove it to eat or brush.
  • A fixed retainer is great if you don't want to keep track of it, or if you don't want to worry about how many hours per day it must be worn.
  • Teeth with fixed retainers require a little extra attention to remove tartar while flossing. Patients with fixed retainers often must use floss threaders to pass dental floss through the small spaces between the retainer and the teeth.
"Dr. Nicolas is a pleasure to work with. He is great with his patients and explains everything completely. The office is immaculate, the staff is friendly and accommodating. He and his staff work very hard to keep appointments on schedule. We are very pleased with the results! I highly recommend him as an orthodontist! Thank you Dr. Nicolas."
— Karen
"Best Orthodontist ever! We spoke about my options the first day I went to see him. He sent me to a Prosthodontist to assist in my care. He also chose my oral surgeon. I had jaw surgery one year ago and got my braces off in October. My teeth look amazing!! I have referred friends that are wanting to get braces or get their children braces to Dr. Nicolas. I am soooo glad I chose him. Very sweet doctor"
— Kim
"Dr. Nicolas is very professional and dedicated to his work. You can tell that he loves what he does and cares about his patients. He believes that orthodontics is an art and he can make masterpiece. Thank you for changing my life and turning my ugly smile into my best feature!"
— Veronica
"I want to say that he is the best orthodontist I have ever dealt with. He told my daughter when she would have her braces off and delivered. He has the best bedside manner you would want in a orthodontist. He and his office make you feel like a person not a number. Very professional and caring. I would recommend him to anyone who is looking for a orthodontist. Best in Florida by my opinion."
— Dee
"Dr. Nicolas is the best, my smile looks great! I’m very happy with the results, his new office is beautiful and the staff is so nice and friendly."
— Gaby
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