Address: 12500 Bee Caves Rd. Austin, TX 78738
Phone: 512 402 1501
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Background plant image Bee Cave Essix Retainers

Close-up hands of a woman holding clear aligners, such as Essix retainersAfter orthodontic treatment, your teeth tend to want to return to their original positions. If appearance is a concern to you, you can maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment with clear, comfortable Essix retainers. They are a discreet solution to preserve your beautiful smile after braces, available from Bee Cave orthodontist Dr. Alberto Tostado.

What Are Essix Retainers?

Essix retainers are clear, removable retainers custom-made to fit over your teeth. They are transparent plastic material, invisible to others at a conversational distance. They will hold your teeth in their corrected positions after orthodontic treatment, preventing them from returning to their original misalignment.

Why Do You Need a Retainer After Braces?

You need a retainer after braces because your teeth can return to their former positions without one. Changes in tooth position occur gradually throughout life. Wearing a retainer helps maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment.

How Do Essix Retainers Work?

The retainers apply gentle, constant pressure on the teeth, holding them in position. The custom-made retainers fit snugly, helping the soft tissues and ligaments surrounding your teeth adapt to the new positions and remain stable.

How Do Essix Retainers and Hawley Retainers Compare?

Differences between Essix and Hawley retainers include the following:

Essix retainers

All-plastic retainers fit snugly over the teeth for a more aesthetically pleasing look. Also, Essix retainers are more comfortable to wear and require less adjustment time than Hawley retainers.

Hawley retainers

Hawley retainers are metal wire surrounding the front teeth. Acrylic or plastic components rest against the roof of your mouth or behind your lower teeth.

How Long Will You Need to Wear Retainers?

The amount of time will vary from case to case. There is ordinarily a gradual tapering-off. You will wear retainers full-time (except while eating, brushing, or flossing) for at least the first few months after completing orthodontic treatment. You’ll then back off gradually. Dr. Tostado will help you know when you can go to wearing them overnight only. There may or may not be a time when you can go completely without the retainers.

If you leave the retainers out for a period of time and, when you put them back in, find that your teeth have moved a little, that’s a sign to you that you left them out for too long. Go back to wearing them more frequently. When your teeth have no more tendency to move, you don’t need the retainers any more.

How Do You Care for Essix Retainers?

You can care for your Essix retainers with these steps:

  • Brush and floss your teeth before inserting the retainers.
  • Rinse the retainer with cold water only.
  • Clean it with a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild soap.
  • Avoid cleaning retainers with toothpaste, which can scratch or dull them.
  • Store it in a clean, dry retainer case while you eat, brush, or floss.
  • Avoid exposing the retainer to heat or extreme cold.

How Long Do Essix Retainers Last?

Most clear retainers last about two years before you need to replace them.

Call us or complete our Request an Appointment form to request a consultation or an exam with Dr. Tostado for braces or retainers.