Essix Retainer


What is an Essix Retainer?

An Essix retainer is a clear plastic shell that conforms exactly to the contours of the teeth to aid in the maintenance of tooth retention in its new position. Your teeth move into new positions over time, so many people opt to get something like Essix retainers to keep their smile the way they want it.

Typically, the Essix retainer is used after orthodontic treatment, both to keep the teeth straight and to slightly realign them. These custom-made clear retainers fit over your teeth by snapping into place or sometimes sliding into place. 

How Essix Retainers Work?


essix retainer

Essix retainers are much less noticeable than retainers which are made from wire. They look like invisible aligners and are also extremely convenient. Essix retainers are removable so, they can help improve oral hygiene. This is because an Essix retainer can be taken out before flossing or brushing your teeth. This type of retainers is also convenient and easy to maintain because they can be easily removed at any time to clean them.

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 place and also helping with minor corrections. The clear plastic material makes Essix retainers more aesthetically pleasing. They are often referred to as overlay retainers. They have an average lifespan of 18–24 months.

What Are the Other Types of Retainers?

There are different types of retainers used by patients. Some of the common types of retainers other than Essix retainers include Hawley retainers, Zendura retainers, and bonded (fixed) retainers.

Hawley Retainers

Hawley retainer is one of the oldest form of retainers, most commonly used for the retention of upper teeth. A Hawley retainer has a wire and clasp design, which sticks to a thick plastic material that covers the roof or tongue in your mouth.

Zendura Retainer

Zendura retainers are one of the famous types of retainers. They are made of special thermoformable material and are clear. They’re extremely strong and durable and are generally considered the gold standard when it comes to quality.

Bonded Retainers

Bonded or fixed retainers are non-removable and are made of thin pieces of wire, which is attached to the back of your teeth. They can keep your teeth straight with very minimal effort because they are bonded to the back of your teeth. Bonded retainers are not visible.

How to Clean Essix Retainers?

You’ll need to follow the instructions of your orthodontist in Colorado to keep your retainers clean. It usually involves brushing your Essix retainer immediately after you remove it from your mouth and right before you put them back in. Avoid brushing your retainers with toothpaste, as it can scratch the surface. You may soak them in a gentle denture cleaner.

Your retainer is not on, it needs to go directly into its protective case. It lowers the risk of the plastic cracking or getting warped under high heat.

Don’t just toss your Essix retainer into your pocket, purse, or a napkin — it could easily be ruined or thrown away. Also, if you have pets or children, keep your retainers away from them.

Essix Retainer Cost

The cost of Essix retainer can be anywhere between $50 and $200 per set. The average lifespan of an Essix retainer is between 3 and 5 years. However, if you don’t take good care of your retainer, it can start to build up bacteria and saliva and become unusable. Then you’d have to spend another chunk of money to buy a new retainer. That’s why it’s super important to keep your retainers clean.

Talk to Our Orthodontist About Retainers

Essix Retainer can be a good option but if you have concerns about the type of retainers you are or will be wearing, speak to our Orthodontist in Colorado to address your concerns and go over your options.

If you are done with braces and not wearing retainers, remember that your teeth may revert to their original positions. Be sure to follow the necessary instructions and visit Orthodontic Experts of Colorado if you experience any issues, pain, or discomfort in your teeth. If haven’t chosen any type of retainers, you can give us a call or fill our online form and schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.