You’ve just said goodbye to your braces and welcomed the new form of your beautiful smile. Now wearing a retainer again is undoubtedly tiring. Especially if you’re opting for a permanent or acrylic retainer, it will again intervene in your profile look. You may choose not to wear one, but that will eventually void all your efforts and investment in getting the orthodontic procedure done. 

That’s why your orthodontist suggested you wear a retainer in the first place, right after you took off your braces. An Essix retainer keeps your teeth aligned without deforming your smile. Not only that, there are more reasons why Essix retainers have become the first choice of numerous patients. So stay glued to know them all!

What is an Essix Retainer?

An Essix retainer is a premium-quality dental appliance. They are considered as custom-made transparent plastic trays designed to fit and support the newly formed alignment of your teeth. Yes, the orthodontist first takes the measurements of your teeth to create a mold for the retainer. This way, your doctor will ensure a tight and snug fit. Unlike a permanent retainer, you can remove an Essix retainer whenever you wish. 

However, there is another type of removal retainer, known as Hawley retainer. But this one differs from an Essix retainer. Where Essix retainers are made of clear and durable plastic, Hawley retainers contain acrylic and metal materials in the framework. So, if you don’t want a visible appliance again after the braces, Essix retainer can meet your requirement while serving the purpose. 

That being said, when you finally take off your braces, there are chances that your teeth will move back and shift their positions. This happens due to non-uniform forces while chewing or doing other activities. That’s why you must wear a retainer until your jawbones solidify around the transformed position. You may not literally feel your teeth shifting position, but they will do if not kept under proper supervision.  

How long do Essix Retainers last?

A pair of Essix retainers can stay intact for 4 to 5 years if you maintain the daily care routine. Luckily, you won’t be required to wear it for such a long time. Generally, orthodontists prescribe to wear the retainer all day and night for the first few months of getting your orthodontic treatment completed. Then, with your doctor’s approval, you can wear it at night time only. 

Though some patients have complained about yellow stains on the retainer after several months of use, that occurs due to unhygienic conditions only. Keep your Essix retainers clean and book timely appointments with your doctor; you won’t face any issues. 

Can I eat with an Essix Retainer?

No, you can only drink water wearing an Essix retainer. You may try having food, but you won’t be able to put enough pressure to crush it in your mouth. Moreover, if you keep taking soft food or even drinks like coffee while wearing a retainer, it will get stained easily and considered unhygienic too. Orthodontists often advise removing the Essix retainer before having food and bruising teeth before putting it on again.

How do you clean Essix Retainers?

Cleaning your Essix retainers regularly is quite an essential task. Otherwise, these retainers can increase the risk of plaque and cause cavities or different gum diseases. That’s why it’s important to maintain proper oral hygiene along with your daily dental care routine (brushing teeth twice a day and flossing at least once). 

However, here we’ve mentioned a few methods to clean your Essix retainer every day. Until you grow a habit, you can take notes. 

  1. Take your Essix retainer and rinse it with cold water before and after every use.
  2. Avoid any contact with too hot or too cold environments, which can deform the shape of the plastic retainer.
  3. Use a non-abrasive toothpaste every time you brush your retainer.
  4. Keep the case always handy so that you can quickly store it when not in use.

Maintaining this basic retainer care routine will help it last for longer years.

How much does Essix retainer cost?

An Essix retainer can cost anywhere between $100 to $250. The price varies depending on your requirements, the brand, used material, and the quality of the product. Of course, the fee of your orthodontist will also matter if you want to calculate the complete budget. 

Should I get Essix retainers?

Yes, you must get Essix retainers if you want to have a less noticeable change in your appearance after taking off your braces. As we already mentioned, wearing a retainer is inevitable if you’ve undergone any orthodontic treatment and an Essix retainer offers the utmost convenience you need at this point. Check out the below pointers and decide on your own whether you should get Essix retainers or not. 

An Essix retainer offers:

  • Compact fit with a less visible design
  • Better results within a stipulated time
  • Easy to remove and maintain oral hygiene 
  • Superb durability for long-term support

‘Retain’ your beautiful Smile!

Retainers can be a perfect solution to keep your newly positioned teeth aligned. Even after several years of orthodontic treatment, your teeth can shift position. Hence, keeping a pair of Essix retainers handy is always advisable, especially when it retains your beautiful smile without changing your look. 


Published by Dr. Daniel Bronsky

Dr. Daniel is an orthodontist at Invis London.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *