Category Archives: Retainers

Dental Orthodontic Essix retainers

What to do if your Dental Retainer Crack?

Did your retainer just crack? Clear retainers can break, that is one of the down sides of the Essix clear retainers. When removing your retainer you want to be careful not to twist the retainer. The twisting of the retainer is the most common way that a retainer can break. 

Retainer is cracked. Now What?

Essix Retainer Broken
Cracked clear Dental retainer

          Don’t panic your teeth will not shift back to their pretreatment position right away, but you do want to get a new retainer quickly.
          There isn’t a way to repair clear retainers. They will need to be replaced.
          If it’s possible you want to continue to wear the retainers. Even if it’s in two piece it will still help prevent the teeth from shifting.
          See if you have your old dental mold. If you have a mold of your teeth SportingSmiles can use the mold to make you a new retainer.
          Order Essix Plus retainers. The Plus material is 2x as durable as standard material and less likely they will crack again.
          We have expedited option on our website. You want to take the impression as soon as possible to lock in your tooth position.

Soon as you have your new retainers it’s always smart to have a backup set. At SportingSmiles we keep all impressions on file for 1 year. You can reorder another pair at a discounted rate.

How a Retainer is Made Using Your Own Model

 

Do you have an old dental model that you have laying around and want to get a clear Essix retainer made from it? We can use your own models and create you a retainer. Here is the process that a retainer will be made.

We can Dental models that are made from plaster, dental stone, 3d printed models, or even the STL 3d model files.

Clear dental Retainers can be ordered online here: https://www.sportingsmiles.com/orthodontic-retainers.html

www.SportingSmiles.com

How Long Should My Orthodontic Retainer Last?

This is a hard questions to answer. There is many factors that go in to determining how long the retainer will last.

Care for Retainer- Essix style retainers can yellow in time if they are not cleaned on a regular basis. To prevent your retainers we recommend using a quality cleaning product like fresh guard twice a week. A cleaner will remove all the bacteria and keep your retainers from yellowing and becoming brittle.

Properly taking the retainer off- The most common way for your retainers to break is when you are removing them. When removing the retainers you want to use two hands and put equal pressure on both sides of the retainer. If you only grab from one side of the retainers it will twist the retainer this can cause it to break. There is no way to repair an Essix retainer after it has cracked, they will need to be replaced.

Material used to make retainer- There is a few different brand for clear retainers. At SportingSmiles we use only genuine Essix material. Essix retainers can be made from standard Essix material or from there Essix Plus material. The Essix Plus is a stronger material and will hold up better than the standard material.

Tooth Structure- Everyone’s tooth structure is different. If there is a gap between the teeth this can be weak point for the retainers. You want to be extra careful when removing the retainer if you have a gap between your teeth.

Teeth Grinding- Retainers are not designed to take the stress from teeth grinding or clenching. Teeth grinding can shorten the life span of the retainer significantly. If you are a teeth grinding you might want to upgrade to the Essix Plus material, It will handle the force that teeth grinding puts on the retainer better than the standard Essix material.

Essix Plus Clear retainer

We have had many customers who have had their Essix retainers for 5+ years. Taking good care of the retainers will extend their life span. It is also a good idea to have a backup set in case, they crack. Visit our site at SportingSmiles.com for more information on replacement retainers.

What Are Dental Retainers Made From?

Orthodontic retainers are devices used to prevent the teeth from shifting. They are commonly used after a dental treatment of moving or straightening the teeth has been completed. Teeth have an elastic memory and will want to move back to their original position, and dental retainers will prevent them from moving.

There is 2 different types of retainer material:

Hawley Retainer: Hawley retainers are made using orthodontic wire and acyclic to create the base. The downside of a Hawley retainer is that it is easily noticeable, difficult to speak with, and costly to be created. The advantage is that if the acrylic is broken or the wire is bent, it can be repaired.

Hawley Retainer

Essix Retainers: Essix is a brand name of the retainer material. Essix retainers are made from a clear sheet of polypropylene that is vacuum or thermoformed over a dental model of your teeth. Essix retainers can be made from Essix ACE or Essix Plus material. The advantage of Essix retainers over Hawley retainers is that the retainers can be almost invisible, minimal effect on speaking, and relatively inexpensive compared to Hawley retainers. This disadvantage is that they can’t be repaired if they crack.

Upper & Lower Dental Retainers
Upper & Lower Dental Retainers

Both types of retainers will prevent the teeth from shifting. When getting an Essix retainers confirm that genuine Essix material is used and request the Essix plus material if you have cracked your retainers in the past or grind your teeth at night.  

Grind Teeth and Need a Retainer?

Do you grind your teeth at night (bruxism), but also need a retainer to keep your teeth straight? This is a question that we are commonly asked.  There is a few solutions to this problem, and you need to pick which one would work best for you.

  1. Hard Night Guard and a Retainer: The primary function of a night guard is to protect the teeth from grinding\clenching. With a hard night guard its secondary function is to prevent the teeth from shifting. A night guard will not work as well as retainers do to prevent the teeth from shifting. We recommend getting both a hard night guard and retainers. You can wear the night guard most nights, but want to wear the retainers a couple nights a week to confirm the teeth are not shifting, or the retainers can be worn during the day.
  2. Essix Plus Retainers: The new essix plus material is much more wear resistant than the standard essix material. Essix plus retainers will be able to take moderate teeth grinding but not heavy teeth grinding. If your a heavy teeth grinder you will either have to get the night guard retainer option or replace your essix plus retainers more often.
Essix-Plus-Retainer-Single2-logo
Teeth Grinding Retainer

Depending on your level of grinding helps decide the correct option for you. If you have questions please contact us at Info@SportingSmiles.com or at 262-290-2396

How to get a replacement retainer

Did your dental retainer crack, break, or is lost? If you lost your retainer you don’t want to put off getting a replacement retainer. Your teeth can start to shift without a retainer being worn. If your retainer is cracked or broken you want to continue to try to wear it if possible while ordering a new retainer.

You can get your replacement retainer 2 ways:

  1. Dentist or Orthodontics: Your dentist or orthodontics can make you a replacement retainer. The price from a dentist fluctuates greatly depending on location and dentist. This cost can be anywhere from $200 to $600 per retainer.
  1. Order Online: Order a self-impression kit online at SportingSmiles.com and take your impression at home and mail it directly in to a dental lab to be created. This cuts out the middle man while still getting the same quality product. Upper and Lower retainers cost $95 with shipping included.
SportingSmiles Impression Kit
SportingSmiles Impression Kit

Clear Essix style retainers can’t be repaired when they are cracked. If you have Hawley wire retainers a dental lab might be able to repair them instead of replacing the retainer. After you get your replacement retainers it is always a good idea to have a spare set. SportingSmiles has the ability to reorder upper and lower retainers for $65 after the initial set has been ordered.

Difference between retainers and Invisalign?

Invisalign and Clear essix retainer might look the same, but they are designed to do different tasks.

Invisalign is designed to move and straighten the teeth in small stages. With Invisalign you typically will have sets of clear aligners that you wear for two weeks at a time then go on to the next set of aligners. This process slowly puts pressure on the teeth moving them to there new position. The amount of aligners depends on how much movement is needed to straighten the teeth. Invisalign uses 1mm clear essix material to create these aligners. After the teeth are straighten, a set of retainers are required to prevent the teeth from going back to their original location.

Upper & Lower Dental Retainers
Upper & Lower Dental Retainers

Clear Essix retainers and designed just to prevent the teeth from shifting. Retainers will not move or straighten you teeth, they will prevent them from shifting further. Retainers are made using 1mm clear essix material the same as Invisalign.

Both Essix retainers and invisalign are made from the same material and are cleaned and taken care for the same. Retainers can last for many years while the invislign aligners are designed to only be used for a short period of time.

5 Ways to prevent Dental Retainers from breaking

Are your clear retainers cracking or breaking?

Prevent Retainers breaking

One of the downsides of Essix retainers are they are fragile and can easily break if not properly cared for. The most common reason retainers break is improper removal. The second most common time retainers are broken is when they are being cleaned.

5 Ways to prevent Dental Retainers from breaking.

  1. Get Essix Plus Retainers– They are two times stronger than standard essix retainers and the same thickness.
  2. Remove Correctly– You want to use one finger on each side when removing the retainers to prevent flexing and twisting the retainers.
  3. Support During Cleaning- When brushing the retainers you don’t want to hold on to one side and brush the other side. You want to support the retainers in your hand or on a towel when brushing the retainers.
  4. Clean Correctly– You do not want to use alcohol based mouthwash with retainers. The alcohol in retainers will dry out and damage the retainers. We recommend using freshguard when cleaning your retainers. We have a video on youtube showing how this is done.
  5. Storage– You want to store your retainers in a case when not in use. You also what to keep away from pets. Dogs are known to eat retainers.
Upper + Lower Dental Retainers
Upper + Lower Dental Retainers

If you properly take care of your retainers they can last for many years. If you retainers have broken please visit SportingSmiles.com for a replacement.

How much does Dental Retainers Cost?

The price of a replacement retainer can vary on where the retainers are purchased from and the type of retainer. There is 3 different types of retainers available.

  1. Hawley Retainers– This type of retainers are also referred to as wire retainers. They are made using metal wire and dental acrylic.
    Hawley retainer
    Hawley Retainer

    One Hawley Retainer cost $175.00 – $325.00

  2. Permanent fixed retainer– This is a wire that is bonded on the lingual side of the teeth permanently to prevent the teeth from shifting. This is typically done on the lower teeth, but can also be done on the upper. This process has to be done by a dentist. One

    Fixed retainer $250.00-$400.00

  3. Essix Clear Retainer– These are the Invisalign type retainers made from 1mm Essix material.One Clear Retainer (SportingSmiles.com) $65.00
    Single Clear dental Retainers
    Single Clear dental Retainers

    One Clear Retainer (from dentist) $150.00 – $300.00
    One Clear Retainer (from SportingSmiles.com ) $65.00

The factors in the cost depend mainly on the dentist markup. Dentist with large overhead have a higher markup. Most of the removable retainers are not made in the dentist office, but rather off site at a dental lab. If you’re looking at removing the middle man Upper + Lower can be purchased for less than $100.