A retainer is something you wear to retain or preserve the current position of your teeth. There are a few different types of retainers, including Hawley, Essix, and bonded retainers.
What is an Essix retainer and why would you need one? Learn more about this orthodontic appliance and its benefits.
Description of an Essix Retainer
An Essix retainer is made completely of plastic. It is clear and made to fit snugly against your teeth. It is similar to the clear aligners used in Invisalign treatment, but instead of shifting the teeth it is designed to hold the current position of the teeth.
Benefits of Essix Retainers
There are many benefits of Essix retainers:
- Comfortable. Essix retainers are custom made to fit your teeth. They are also made of smooth plastic that won’t irritate the soft tissues of your mouth.
- Virtually invisible. Essix retainers are virtually invisible against your teeth. The clear plastic fits snugly to your teeth leaving no visible gaps.
- Removable. Unlike a permanent retainer, Essix retainers are removable so you can take them out to eat and to brush and floss your teeth.
- Easy to clean. To clean your Essix retainer, use a soft bristled toothbrush and clear, unscented soap to gently scrub away food residue and plaque. You can also use retainer cleaner when needed to kill bacteria and freshen your retainers.
Is an Essix Retainer Right For You?
If you’ve just completed Invisalign treatment or some other clear aligner system, an Essix retainer makes sense for the retention phase because it’s what you’re already used to. It is also a popular choice for those who need to wear their retainers during the day for a while, but don’t want them to be visible. Your orthodontist will recommend the best type of retainer for you based on your individual needs, but you can request an Essix retainer if that’s what you would prefer.
The Process for Getting an Essix Retainer
In order to create your Essix retainer, digital images are taken of your teeth. Fortunately, advancements in technology have made impressions digital. No more trays of goopy plaster to contend with, only a few simple scans of your teeth. Once your retainer has been made you will try it on to make sure it fits.
The Importance of Retainers in Orthodontic Treatment
The retention phase of orthodontic treatment is just as important as the active treatment phase. After months and years of treatment to get your teeth where they need to be, the last thing you want is for your teeth to shift back to their old positions, ruining all your progress. This is why it is crucial that you wear your retainers according to your orthodontist’s instructions. You will need to wear your retainers all the time for the first few months after your treatment. Your orthodontist will let you know when it is safe to start wearing them only at night.
Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics Provides Essix Retainers
If you think an Essix retainer would be right for you, Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics can provide it, as long as it is the best type of retainer for your needs. We provide a full range of orthodontic services, including braces, Invisalign, retainers, and more. Children should have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7 to determine what, if any, treatment is necessary. Your first evaluation is always complimentary.
To learn more and schedule an appointment, contact us today at one of our 3 convenient locations:
Minnetonka, MN: 952-938-1443
Excelsior, MN: 952-474-0288
Wayzata, MN: 952-473-1993