Essix Retainer Cost, Potential Results, and Maintenance |
Oral Health

Essix Retainer Cost, Potential Results, and Maintenance


    Essix retainers

    After straightening your teeth via orthodontic treatments such as braces and clear aligners, the next step is crucial: retainers. If you don’t like the clunky metal wired Hawley or permanent retainers, you can opt for sleek and comfortable Essix retainers.

    Essix retainers, being virtually invisible, comfortable, and cost-effective are immensely popular. Comparative research shows that Essix retainers are really good at keeping teeth straight, better than Hawley retainers. Another study says that Essix retainers are popular with most orthodontic patients because they look good and feel nice in your mouth, making them a top pick for keeping your teeth in line.

    Dive in to discover why Essix retainer might be the best way to keep your smile looking great after your orthodontic treatment culminates.


    How Does Essix Retainer Work?

    Essix retainer maintains alignment while offering comfort and durability, essential for long-term retention after your braces or aligner treatment is complete. The retainers are crafted from premium, flexible plastic, meticulously molded to match your teeth’s unique shape. Encasing every nook and cranny, the Essix provides a gentle, custom-designed cover for your teeth.

    This tailored fit of the Essix retainer is essential, applying gentle, consistent pressure to help your teeth resist shifting forces from everyday activities like chewing and tongue movement.

    Unlike generic options, Essix’s custom design ensures uniform pressure distribution, preventing any unwanted movement and preserving your straight smile effectively. It’s like having an invisible guardian angel for your teeth, ensuring they stay beautifully aligned for the long haul. To learn more about what is a retainer and which brands we recommend, explore our in-depth guide on teeth retainers.

    What Orthodontic Experts Think About Essix Retainers?

    When it comes to post-treatment stability, orthodontists are buzzing about Essix retainers. It is understandable how clunky metal or bonded wires might not be everyone’s choice. Essix’s sleek, invisible design wins hearts compared to other kinds of retainers after braces.

    Studies confirm the efficacy of Essix retainer. Patients in one study preferred the Essix retainer to traditional Hawley retainers for their discreet looks and snug fit. Comfort levels were similar, but Essix stole the show in the aesthetics department.

    For orthodontists, Essix ticks the effectiveness box too. They provide gentle, continuous pressure, just like Hawleys, to keep teeth in their straightened positions. Plus, their custom-molded nature minimizes the risk of relapse.

    So, if you’re looking for the right kinds of retainers after braces that are both invisible and effective, Essix might just be your perfect match.

    Essix Retainer Cost

    While Essix retainers generally fall within the $200-$500 range, several factors can influence the final cost:

    • Material: Standard Essix retainers are made from strong, clear plastic. However, some dentists offer premium materials like Zendura, known for its enhanced clarity and stain resistance. Naturally, premium materials come at a premium price.
    • Quantity: Essix retainers are custom-molded to your teeth for a perfect fit. The number of sets you order can also impact cost. Often, dentists offer discounts for purchasing multiple sets at once, as a backup. The dentist’s fees, including lab costs and chair time, also play a role. Location and practice overhead can influence this factor.

    Have a look into our retainer cost guide to learn how much does it cost to get a new retainer. Remember, this is an investment in your long-term dental health and a beautiful smile.

    To save on Essix retainer costs ask about package deals, and consider insurance, as some dental insurance plans cover part of the cost of Essix retainers. Our two cents here is to compare prices from different dentists in your area, when opting for Vivera or Candid clear retainers.

    Comparative Cost Analysis

    While types of retainers vary, people also need clarification about whether there is any difference between retainers and braces. The functionalities and costs of braces and retainers differ significantly. Braces actively move teeth into place, while retainers simply maintain the new alignment, making them generally less expensive.

    Essix retainers offer affordability, ranging from $150 to $500. Unlike some brands, Essix clear retainer may be included in aligner treatment plans, offering added value. In contrast, Hawley retainers range from $150 to $600, with sturdy construction and functionality.

    Fixed permanent retainers can reach up to $850, requiring extra fees for procedures and visits. While fixed retainers offer continuous retention, Essix retainer provides comparable effectiveness at a fraction of the cost, making it a more economical choice for many seeking orthodontic maintenance.

    When choosing the best Essix retainer, Candid’s precision-crafted retainers are the invisible shield for a lifetime of straight-teeth confidence.

    Best Essix Retainers
    Candid retainers
    Candid Retainers
    Made of high-grade, clear Essix plastic
    Durable retainers, lasting up to six months
    Available as a part of the aligner treatment plan
    HSA/FSA eligible

    Advantages and Disadvantages

    When choosing a clear retainer, like an Essix, it’s important to go beyond the surface. Evaluating the pros and cons, the “whys” and “whys not,” ensures you select the option that best aligns with your unique requirements.


    • Discreet: Virtually invisible, Essix clear retainers are barely noticeable when worn, making them ideal for those who value aesthetics, or want to keep their treatment discreet at work.
    • Comfortable: Custom-molded to your teeth, clear orthodontic retainers fit snugly without irritation or discomfort.
    • Effective: Studies show Essix retainers are just as effective as traditional Hawley retainers in preventing tooth relapse.
    • Removable: Unlike bonded retainers, Essex retainers can be easily removed for eating, drinking, cleaning, and orthodontic care.
    • Durable: Made from strong plastic, Essix retainers can last for several years with proper care.
    • Adjustable: In some cases, minor adjustments can be made to Essix retainers by your dentist during your scheduled visit if needed.


    • Cost: Premium quality clear Essix retainers are typically more expensive than Hawley retainers.
    • Speech impact: Some people experience temporary speech changes when wearing Essix retainers, although this usually resolves quickly.
    • Discipline: Essix retainers require discipline to wear consistently as directed by your orthodontist.
    • Breakage: While durable, Essix retainers can break if dropped or chewed on.

    When choosing a retainer, factors like lifestyle, budget, discipline, and aesthetics play a crucial role. For active individuals or sports enthusiasts, a durable option like Hawley might be preferable. If consistent wear is a challenge, a fixed retainer may be more suitable. However, if invisibility and removability is paramount, Essix clear retainers excel in aesthetics.

    How Do I Clean My Essix Retainer?

    Keeping your clear orthodontic retainers clean is crucial for both hygiene and their lifespan. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to ensure your smile stays sparkling:

    1. After each wear, gently rinse your retainers under lukewarm water. Then, brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild, unscented dish soap or toothpaste (avoid whitening formulas).

    2. For deeper cleaning, soak your clear orthodintic retainers in a denture cleaning solution or vinegar diluted with water (1:1 ratio) for 15-20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

    3. Don’t expose your retainers to hot water, dishwashers, or microwaves, as this can warp them. Instead, let them air dry on a clean towel or place them in their case.

    Bonus Maintainance Tips:

    Clean your retainers twice daily, especially after meals and sugary drinks. Don’t use harsh chemicals, bleach, or mouthwash, as they can damage the material. Avoid using whitening gel on removable clear retainers as it can damage the material, leading to discoloration, cracking, or warping, which may affect its fit and your teeth alignment.

    Always store your retainers in their case when not in use to protect them from dust and damage. Read how to sanitize a retainer to make it perfectly safe for the oral cavity.

    Essix Retainers Before and After Treatment

    F.A.Q. about Essix Retainers

    Can Essix retainers be worn while eating or drinking?

    No, Essix retainers should be removed before eating and drinking to avoid staining or damage.

    Can I play musical instruments or participate in sports with an Essix retainer?

    While generally okay for light activities, consult your dentist about wearing clear Essix retainers during intense sports or playing instruments that involve direct contact with the retainer.

    What should I do if my Essix retainer feels loose or uncomfortable?

    A slightly loose retainer might be normal due to natural tooth movement. However, if it feels significantly loose or uncomfortable, contact your dentist promptly to avoid unwanted tooth shifting.

    Can I personalize the color or design of my Essix retainer?

    Some clear orthodontic retainer brands do offer to personalize your Essix retainer to your liking. You can choose the design and color for a unique look.

    Are there any specific storage recommendations for Essix retainers when not in use?

    Keep your Essix retainers in their designated case when not in use to protect them from dust, damage, and accidental warping from heat.

    What should I do if I lose or damage my Essix retainer?

    Don’t panic! If you lose or damage your Essix retainer, contact your dentist as soon as possible. They can assess the situation and create a new retainer to avoid any unwanted teeth movement.

    Final Thoughts

    Essix retainers, crafted from virtually invisible plastic, offer a discreet and comfortable way to maintain your straightened teeth post treatment. Their durability, custom fit, and gentle pressure ensure long-lasting results.

    Ultimately, the key to a confident smile and good oral health lies in informed choices. Consult your orthodontist to explore if Essix orthodontic retainers are the perfect fit for your unique needs and unlock the future of sparkling, worry-free smiles!

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