What is an Essix Retainer?
There are many types of retainers a person can use to maintain their teeth in place after certain types of dental or orthodontic treatment. The type of retainers a patient is prescribed depends on the condition of their teeth, their previous dental and orthodontic treatment history, as well as what an orthodontist recommends as the best course of treatment. The retainers guide and maintain the position and alignment of teeth to create an attractive and beautiful smile, and today there’s wide a range to choose from. Essix retainers, in particular, are clear, slim molds that fit over your teeth. Here at Orthodontic Experts, your orthodontist might recommend an Essix retainer as the final stage in a course of orthodontic treatment, or as a complete alternative to braces.
Different Types of Retainers
Some retainers are fixed and others are removable and made of wires or plastic. Essix retainers are removable and made entirely of transparent plastic, which makes them less noticeable than traditional wire retainers. Another benefit of Essix retainers is that they encourage good dental hygiene; you can take out your retainer when you brush and floss, and clean the retainer yourself at the same time. Unlike wire retainers, Essix retainers cover the entire arch of the teeth. But like the traditional Hawley retainer, each one is uniquely molded to the shape of your mouth.
How Essix Retainers Work
Essix retainers are molded to your mouth, making it 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. Though your teeth may feel firmly set in your mouth, they move when 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 are made of. They are also often referred to as overlay retainers because of the fact that they fully cover your teeth. They have an average lifespan of 18–24 months.
Pros and Cons of Essix Retainers
Just like any other type of retainers, Essix retainers also have some advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Essix Retainers
Disadvantages of Essix Retainers
Essix retainers have many advantages, including:
- Can be easily cleaned
While comparing with other types of retainers there are a few disadvantages associated with wearing an Essix retainer which include:
- Plastic may warp if exposed to heat
- Can interfere with a person’s speech
Essix Retainer Care
Usually an Essix retainer should last the entire length of your orthodontic treatment. When caring for your retainer, advises our senior orthodontist at orthodontic experts, be sure to:
Rinse your Essix retainer in cold water every time you take it out and before you put it back in.
Store your retainer in a braces plastic case whenever you aren’t wearing it.
Don’t brush the retainer with toothpaste, as it can scratch the surface.
Brush your retainer with cool to Luke warm water and a soft toothbrush after having each meal.
Don’t put the retainer in hot water, which will shrink it.
Wash the retainer with a specialized retainer cleaner once every two to three months.
Life with Essix Retainers
Your life should not change due to retainers, wearing Essix retainers should be trouble-free, and your routine should remain the same. Floss your teeth once a day and brush twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. If your retainer begins to feel uncomfortable, it’s a sign your teeth are moving out of position and you might not be wearing the retainer often enough. Wearing your retainer more will reduce this discomfort.
Speak to our Orthodontist about Your Options
If you have recently had your braces removed, or have gone through surgery and require a retainer, speak to our orthodontist at Orthodontic Experts, about your various retainer options. One of the options our orthodontist may recommend is an Essix retainer.
Be sure to follow the necessary instructions and visit orthodontist experts if you experience any issues, pain, or discomfort in your teeth. Call us now to schedule free consultation.