The day your braces get removed is an exciting day and a huge achievement, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of your orthodontic treatment. To make sure your dream smile stays straight and the teeth don’t shift back, patients will need to wear a retainer to “retain” the teeth in their new positions. A removable Essix retainer might be the answer for you!
A lot of patients ask what is a retainer and why do I need to wear it after their treatment. Retainers are custom-made, removable or fixed appliances that help teeth maintain their new position after the patient’s braces have been removed. Retainers can also be used to treat minor orthodontic problems.
Orthodontic retainers are extremely important in maintaining the tooth and bite correction you achieve with braces. That is where adult retainers can play a major role in preventing any crowding or misalignment of the teeth.
There are three different types of retainers which are Essix Retainer, Fixed Retainer, and Hawley Retainer that you can choose from at Orthodontic Experts and in this section we will explain the Essix Retainer.
By the end of this blog, you will be an expert on the Essix Retainer!
The types of retainers a patient is prescribed depends on the condition of their teeth, their previous dental and orthodontic treatment history, and as well as what the orthodontist recommends as the best course of treatment.
Here at Orthodontic Experts, your orthodontist may recommend an Essix retainer as the final stage in a course of orthodontic treatment, or as a complete alternative to braces. An Essix retainer is a removable retainer that is made entirely of transparent plastic, which makes them less noticeable than traditional wire retainers. Unlike some wire retainers, Essix retainers cover the entire arch of the teeth.
Essix retainers are molded to your mouth, making them unique to the shape of your mouth. These retainers cover all of your teeth, guiding them into a position where the upper and lower sets are even and straight and align with each other. However, your teeth may feel firmly set in your mouth, they move under constant pressure, and can assume new positions in the mouth all on their own. Essix retainers are aesthetically pleasing because of the clear plastic material they’re made of. These types of retainers are also often referred to as overlay retainers because of the fact that they fully cover your teeth. Essix retainers usually have a lifespan of 18-24 months.
Advantages of Essix Retainers
Essix retainers have many advantages for the patient after their braces are removed.
- Essix retainers are removable, which the patient can take them out when they eat, drink, or brush/ floss their teeth.
- Also, this type of retainer is easy to clean with a soft bristled toothbrush that is approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).
- Essix retainers are transparent and clear to have that invisible feeling when you wear them.
Disadvantages of Essix Retainers
While comparing Essix retainers with other types of retainers there are a few disadvantages associated with wearing these retainers which include the following:
- Essix retainers are non- adjustable.
- The plastic on this type of retainer may warp if exposed to heat.
- When you wear Essix retainers it may interfere with a person’s speech.
Caring for your retainer is very important as this is the last stage of your orthodontic treatment journey. By following these steps you will be on a great start with your Essix retainer:
- First you would want to rinse your Essix retainer in cold water every time you take it out and before you put the retainer back in your mouth.
- Store your retainer in a braces plastic case wherever you go when you’re not wearing it. (P.S. Make sure you clear the case every day.)
- Don’t brush the Essix retainer with toothpaste, as it can scratch the surface of your retainer.
- When you’re ready to clean your Essix retainer, brush it by using a soft bristled toothbrush in cool to lukewarm water after each meal.
- Very Important: Don’t put your Essix retainer in hot water because it will shrink it.
- Lastly, wash the Essix retainer with a specialized retainer cleaner once every two to three months (Ask our trained orthodontists for more information.)
When the time comes for your post-orthodontic treatment, you always wonder what it will cost you for your Essix retainer.
Well, removable Essix retainers are made of vacuum- formed clear plastic that typically costs around $100-$250 for one or $200-$500 for a set of two. These are prone to warping or breaking, so they may need replacing relatively frequently. This might sound like a lot, but each retainer can last between three to five years. However, if you don’t take good care of your retainer or if you grind your teeth, this can start to build up bacteria and saliva and then become unusable.
Orthodontic Experts is here to help you through your investment for your new dream smile!
Stop your Smile from Shifting with the help of Orthodontic Experts
At Orthodontic Experts we have a team of experienced and qualified orthodontists that can provide professional insight on any questions or concerns you may have with your retainers. Right now is the best time to start thinking about which type of retainer you would like. Check out the great smile protection plans we have available below!
So, contact us today at 855-720-2470 if you have any questions about the types of retainers that we have to offer. Our team is family to all of you! Don’t forget about our Refer-A-Friend Program! Visit us at www.orthodonticexprts.com/refer-a-friend-program for more information.