Essix Retainer

When it comes to keeping and maintaining your new perfect smile, an Essix retainer is found to be one of the most popular choices as one of your orthodontic post-treatment options. Your orthodontic treatment does not end when the braces come off. You still have to wear a retainer to make sure your teeth will not shift back to their original position.

Among the many types of retainers available in the market today, Essix retainers are known to stand out due to their effectiveness. In this article, you will get to know why an Essix retainer is a good choice when it comes to orthodontic post-treatment options.

What is an Essix retainer?

An Essix retainer is a type of orthodontic retention tool that is made to protect the results of your teeth straightening treatment. Unlike visible wired retainers, the Essix retainer is made out of clear plastic so you do not have to be so self-conscious about wearing them.

Orthodontic patients prefer using an Essix retainer after receiving treatment because it is nicer to look at and the fit is comfortable enough that there is no awkwardness or pain in the mouth.

How does an Essix retainer work?

The Essix retainer is used during the retention phase of your orthodontic treatment. This is the phase after the teeth straightening phase is complete.

Just like braces, your retainers must be custom-made. It has to be a perfect fit to ensure that the new position of your teeth will stay in place so you can keep your new smile for years. Your orthodontist will have to make an impression of your teeth to ensure that the retainers you get will be a perfect fit.

You see, as you age, your teeth will have the tendency to move back to their original position. So, even if they have been moved to a better position, there is a huge chance that they will still move back to their old, crooked position. The retainer was created to be a solution for this.

The only way to keep your teeth from shifting is to use your Essix retainer as instructed. You will have to wear your Retainer all day for a couple of months. Then, you will have to wear your retainer every night. Later, you will only have to wear the retainer every other night.

Essix retainer material

An Essix retainer is made out of clear plastic. The plastic is made to fit snugly to your teeth but in a way that it will be comfortable in your mouth.

This makes it a preferred option by people who do not want to wear visible retainers or feel conscious about having to wear them. Because of the clear material, they have the same look as invisible braces. It is a great improvement compared to wire retainers, which are very obvious.

To make the Essix retainer, the orthodontist will have to make an impression of your teeth. The impression will be sent to the lab where it will be turned into a plaster cast. The cast will then be heated. After, a plastic sheet will be placed over the cast. The excess plastic will be trimmed and your retainer becomes ready to use.

Essix retainer costs

A full set of Essix retainers can cost anywhere between $150 and $500. Considering that they are clear, removable retainers – they are actually considered a good deal compared to other retainer brands.

The total cost of your Essix retainers will vary depending on your specific case, the orthodontist who is treating you, and the region you are in.

Most orthodontists will suggest you order a packaged set of multiple Essix retainers so that if you lose or break your retainer, you already have a backup ready.

If you need to be fitted to get a new retainer, you will have to pay an additional office visit cost on top of the price of your new retainer set.

Your orthodontist can include the cost of getting an Essix retainer in the total costs of your orthodontic treatment plan. If your insurance has coverage for braces treatment, this can also be used to help cover the cost of your Essix retainer.

Essix retainer pros and cons

Like any other product, the Essex retainer has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here is a short list of pros and cons that you should be aware of:


  • The clear plastic material makes them discreet. You can smile more comfortably with them.
  • Comfortable and easy to wear because of its slim fit.
  • Fitted snugly so it provides better and longer-lasting retention for your teeth.
  • Removable retainer type so it does not interfere with your eating and drinking.


  • Harder to repair. You will have to replace it and get a brand new one if you damage it.
  • May warp when exposed to heat because of the plastic.

Exis retainer FAQs

How long do Essix retainers last?

A set of Essix retainers can last for up to 5 years as long as you take care of them properly. Essix retainers are not repairable – you will have to get a new set of plastic retainers in case your retainer gets damaged so you have to make sure that you take good care of it.

If your orthodontic treatment moves to the part where you only wear your retainers at night, you will have to reorder a new set of retainers for nighttime use.

Can I eat with an Essix retainer?

Essix retainers can be removed before you eat or drink so you have fewer restrictions and you do not have to worry about food getting stuck in your retainer. In fact, this is one of the reasons why an Essix retainer is appealing to orthodontic patients.

Just make sure that you store your Essix retainers safely in a sanitary retainer case every time you eat or drink something. Then, brush your teeth and rinse the retainers properly with cold water before you use them again.

Do Essix retainers straighten teeth?

Retainers are not made to straighten teeth. They are only used to protect and set the result of teeth straightening treatments. Essex retainers are made to prevent the movement of your teeth so that they do not shift back to their original position after you did orthodontic work on them. You need to do braces first if you want to get straighter teeth.


If you have braces, have had your braces removed, or went through an orthodontic procedure that requires you to wear a retainer, it is best to consult your orthodontist about getting an Essix retainer.

Essix retainers are not only high-quality but they are also more pleasing to look at and they are very comfortable to wear despite it being a snug fit. You will be able to enjoy your better and straighter smile without any worries. Of course, it is important that you pair this with good oral hygiene practices.

Make sure to follow your orthodontist’s instructions when it comes to using your Essix retainers so that your teeth will not go back to their original positions. Remember, your retainer is the only way to keep your straighter smile for a longer time.

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