Orthodontic retention

Orthodontic retainers in Boca Raton

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.

An orthodontic retainer can prevent any changes to your smile for years after braces. The time you put into your orthodontic procedures is well-spent. If you’re interested in getting a tooth retainer in Boca Raton or Boynton Beach, learn more about your options from Nicolas Orthodontics.

What are orthodontic retainers used for?

If you have gone through an orthodontic alignment procedure, you will need a retainer to help your teeth look the same for the rest of your life. A tooth retainer is custom-fit to your smile through either an impression or a 3D scan.

Types of retainers

Your dental retainer is unique to you. Retainers can be removable or fixed, and different needs will determine which style is best for you. Here are three options for the type of retainer you can get:

  • Traditional (Hawley): 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.
  • Clear (Essix): 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 (Lingual): 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.

It’s best to ask your orthodontist which tooth retainer they recommend based on the type of alignment you’ve completed. You can also decide based on a range of personal factors, such as how often you want to clean your retainer or how visible you want it to be when you speak.

Your care for the appliance will determine how long it lasts. A properly cleaned and stored retainer can serve you anywhere from 20 years to the rest of your life. Your investment in a tooth retainer can give your smile the security it needs for a long time ahead.

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.

How much do retainers cost?

Retainer costs for your teeth will vary depending on the style you choose. The price of a retainer changes based on its material, longevity and how many arches you need. Clear retainers are typically the lowest-cost option, followed by traditional retainers and then fixed retainers.

Tips for caring for your retainers

Your retainer could be in your mouth for up to 22 hours per day, so you will want to keep it as clean as possible.

To give your removable retainer a deep clean, you can create a mixture of equal parts baking soda and water. Use a gentle toothbrush to scrub your retainer with this mixture. You can also submerge the appliance in a vinegar solution for about 20 minutes to disinfect it. Cleaning your retainer with a whitening toothpaste or heavy-duty brush could wear down the appliance’s material, so stick to gentler methods.

If you have a fixed retainer, the best way to keep it clean is to use good toothpaste and toothbrushes. Make sure you replace your brush or brush head often to prevent bacterial growth in the bristles. Do your best to stick to a cleaning schedule. The better you care for your retainer, the longer it will last.

Why choose Nicolas Orthodontics?

Dr. George Nicolas is a Roth Williams-trained and Invisalign® certified orthodontist. At Nicolas Orthodontics, we’ll work with you to help your teeth shine with proper alignment, care and retention. We’ll walk you through your options and help you choose the right type of orthodontic retainer for your needs.

Contact us for your orthodontic retainers

If you need a retainer or consultation in Boca Raton or Boynton Beach, Nicolas Orthodontics is here to help. Schedule a consultation today to get started. If you have any questions, you can call our Boca Raton office at 561-431-9401 or our Boynton Beach office at 561-760-9529.