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.
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.
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.
We hear at least 4-5x a week that “my dog ate my retainer!”
Dogs are attracted to the saliva, the smell, as well as the material that the retainers are made from.
The clear Essix style retainers are made from EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate). This is often the same type of vinyl found in a dogs chew toys. It doesn’t take long for a dog of any size to destroy a retainer.
We recommend that you store your retainers in a case, in a cool dry place such as drawer, or a high location out of reach from your pet.
If your pet is prone to chewing up your retainers it is always a good idea to have a back-up pair to avoid any down time without your retainer.
At SportingSmiles.com the re-order process is easy and efficient. Whether you need just the upper retainer, just the lower retainer, or both. We keep your impressions on file for at least 1 year to make re-ordering a snap!
There is no good answer to this question. It’s different per person. With care you can see 2-6 years with your clear essix retainers. There is a few things you can do to extend the life of your retainers.
Use two hands to remove them from your teeth. The twisting motion of pulling on one side of the retainers will put stress on them and can cause them to crack.
When cleaning your retainers you want to support them in either your hand or place them on top of a towel on the countertop. This again prevents the twisting motion that can crack the retainers.
Regular cleaning will help prevent the retainers from yellowing and getting brittle. We recommend using freshguard cleaner twice a week and brushing them after each use. Cleaning instructions can be found Here.
Storing them in a case way from pets will also help. Pets love to chew on the plastic that the retainer and created from.
If your retainers are cracking regularly you may want to upgrade to the essix plus material. It’s more durable material and will extend the life of the retainers. If you have questions about getting a replacement set of retainers please visit SportingSmiles.com or email us at Info@SportingSmiles.com
If you clean and take care of your retainers they can last many years. Here are the steps to make sure your retainers is clean and fresh.
You want to clean your retainers with a soft bristle tooth brush and non-abrasive (non tarter control, or grit-less) tooth paste after ever use. If tooth paste isn’t available rinse the retainers in water before storing. Avoid cleaning or rinsing your retainer with any store bought mouth wash.
We recommend using Freshguard to clean your retainers. Freshguard is available at most drug stores, or online. If freshguard isn’t available denture cleaning tablets can also be used.
To use Freshguard follow the instruction on the box. Freshguard should be used at least twice a week.
This is the same process for cleaning your invisalign or other orthodontic appliance.
Do use a soft bristle tooth brush to clean your retainer.
Don’t use abrasive or tartar control tooth paste. This will scratch and damage the retainers.
Do use Freshguard to rinse your retainer.
Don’t use mouthguard rinse to soak the retainer. The alcohol in the mouthguard will make the retainer brittle.
Do cup the retainer in your hand while brushing, or place it on a towel on the counter.
Don’t twist the retainer while brushing. The twisting motion will flex the retainer causing it to crack.
If you clean your retainer from the beginning it will prevent any buildup and or discoloration. After retainers start to discolor it can be difficult to get them back to being clear. If you have questions about cleaning your retainer contact SportingSmiles at Info@SportingSmiles.com