Wearing and caring for your Essix Retainer

Wearing and caring for your Essix Retainer
Posted on 03/10/2024

When your Monticello orthodontic treatment calls for an Essix retainer, you might be puzzled as to what that means. A retainer is a retainer, right? Well, no, seeing as the Essix retainer is a fairly new invention. Thirty years ago, your only options for retainers were fixed and Hawley. Now you can choose an Essix retainer if your orthodontist at Huls Orthodontics says it is a viable option for you.

What Is an Essix Retainer?

If you have had Invisalign invisible and removable braces, or you know someone who has had such braces, you already know what an Essix retainer is. It is a clear plastic tray you insert into your mouth to hold your teeth in place. If you just finished treatment using braces like this, then this particular kind of retainer is essentially an extension of your treatment plan using the same plastic trays. The only difference is that the retainer isn't attempting to move your teeth; just holds them where they are.

Wear It According to Your Orthodontist

Your orthodontist will tell you when and how long you have to wear the Essix retainer. Most patients start by wearing it all day and removing it at night. Sometimes it leads to no longer wearing it during the day and wearing it only at night. Your Champaign and Monticello orthodontic treatment plan will specify what your orthodontist expects in terms of wear.

Patients who start out wearing it during the day must do so for at least a year, sometimes longer. When the orthodontist is satisfied that wearing it consistently and as instructed has been successful, he or she may instruct you to skip wearing it during the day and only wear it to bed.

Cleaning the Essix Retainer

It is not made of heavy-duty dental resin. It is made of the same plastic as invisible aligners. You can remove it, brush it to clean it, leave it to sit in a little mouthwash for a few minutes before inserting, and brush and floss your teeth as usual when the retainer is out.

Because it can break and melt, do not leave it where it can be crushed or stepped on. Don't leave it in your pocket and run it through the wash or a dryer. Try to avoid any situation where the retainer could be damaged. While they are more affordable than a Hawley resin and wire retainer, Essix retainers still aren't cheap.

They can cost anywhere from $50-250 dollars, and most orthodontists charge the higher end because they don't have a lab in their offices. Compare that to the price of a Hawley retainer, which typically costs $150-$300.

Scheduling an Appointment with Huls Orthodontics in Champaign and Monticello
Huls Orthodontics offers patients a variety of options for orthodontic treatment. What your treatment plan will look like is based on what the orthodontists here think will produce the best results. Make an appointment today!