Tag Archives: Invisalign

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 to get a retainer from your own Molds.

Do you have your own molds from your dentist and want to get a replacement retainer made, but can’t find a company to make them? At SportingSmiles.com we can use your existing molds, but there is some stipulations on using outside dental molds.

  1. No Warranty- We can’t warranty outside molds because we don’t know how old they are. The new retainers maybe made perfect, but your teeth may have shifted since the impression was taken.
  2. Damaged Impression- There is a chance your teeth mold can be damaged when the new retainer is being made. We will try our best for this not to happen, but there is a chance this could happen. Dental impressions can dry out in time and there are different qualities in dental stone. Also there is a chance they may get damaged in the mail.
  3. Same Cost- There is no discount on using your existing impression. There is often more work to correct your current impression than there is in making a new one.

Advantages of using our Impression Kit.

  1. Full Warranty- We will warranty the retainers fully to make sure that it fits correctly.
  2. Reorder- SportingSmiles keeps all impression for 1 year. Reorders are at a discounted price.
  3. Easy Impression Process- SportingSmiles have a patented dental impression tray that makes it extremely easy to take an impression. Video instructions are also available.

We recommend using our self-impression kit, but we can use your existing molds to make a retainers. Our different styles of retainers can be seen here:

 

Why do dogs eat retainers?

We hear at least 4-5x a week that “my dog ate my retainer!”

Dogs love to eat dental retainers
Dogs love to eat dental retainers

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.

Upper + Lower Dental Retainers
Upper + Lower Dental Retainers

 

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!

How Long will my Clear Essix Retainers Last?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Storing them in a case way from pets will also help. Pets love to chew on the plastic that the retainer and created from.
Upper + Lower Dental Retainers
Upper + Lower Dental Retainers

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

How to Clean my Clear Essix Retainers.

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.

Upper + Lower Dental Retainers
Upper + Lower Dental Retainers
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

fresh-guard-soak-cleaner

The Do’s and Do Nots’ of cleaning your Clear Essix Retainer:

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

Cleaning Dental Retainers & Invisalign clear retainers

These instruction are designed for clear Essix retainers, but can also be used for Invisalign clear retainers.

You want to rinse the retainer in luke-warm water.  Using a soft bristle tooth brush and a non-abrasive tooth paste brush the guard softly. While brushing the guard you want to be careful not to crack the retainer. It works well to cup the retainer in your other hand while cleaning. This type of cleaning should be done regularly with your retainer.

For a deep clean we recommend using Fresh Guard soakfresh-guard-soak-cleaner. It’s made by Efferdent and can be found at most drug stores and large department stores.  Its normally less than 10$ for 24 packets and always seems to be printable coupons online.  After you brush your retainers. You want to pour one of the fresh guard packets in a cup of warm water. Then place your retainers in the solution for about 5 minutes. You will know the cleaning process is over by the Fresh Guard will change from a blue color to clear. When the solution turns clear you want to remove the retainers right away. Don’t leave the retainers in the solution longer than ten minutes. After removing rinse thoroughly and you retainer should be clear and clean.

How not to clean your retainers.

  1. Don’t soak in mouthwash. Mouthwash contains alcohol. The alcohol will dry out the retainer and damage it.
  2. Don’t use diluted bleach water. We have heard people using this method and it’s also not good for the retainers and can permanently give them a bleach taste.

If you have questions about cleaning your retainer or getting replacement retainers please contact SportingSmiles