Clear retainers are made of smooth, clear, BPA-free plastic. They are technically known as Essix retainers and are sometimes referred to as Invisalign retainers. The custom, removable appliance fits over your teeth and is virtually undetectable by most people.
Recently, clear retainers have become the more popular option. Despite their prevalence, patients occasionally have questions. Is it true that clear retainers are more expensive? Can you chew gum while wearing a clear retainer? How should an Invisalign retainer be cleaned?
So, here is a list of 5 things you should know about clear retainers!
Clear Retainers are a lot like Invisalign Aligners.
Clear retainers, like Invisalign aligners, fit over your teeth and are made of a virtually invisible, thermoplastic material. The retainer material is thicker and designed to last for years, whereas aligners are only intended to last a few weeks.
Your clear retainer or Invisalign retainer is meant for passive usage and will only hold your teeth in place. Because most patients will quickly transition to only using their retainer at night, wearing your clear retainer will be equivalent to only wearing your Invisalign overnight. You’ll get the same advantages: comfort, convenience, and aesthetics.
You Should Remove Your Retainer Before Eating or Drinking.
Eating or drinking while wearing a clear retainer is not a good idea. First, hot beverages or food can warp the plastic, affecting the fit and potentially causing your teeth to shift. Furthermore, when you eat or drink while wearing clear retainers, food and liquids can become trapped between your retainer and your teeth, making you more prone to cavities and staining.
Clear Retainers are Reasonably Priced.
Is it true that clear retainers are more expensive? No, not typically. There is a common misconception that clear retainers are more costly than permanent and Hawley retainers, but depending on the brand, most retainers are less expensive. You also don’t have to worry about them getting damaged. However, clear retainers only become costly if you lose them frequently and have to buy new ones regularly.
Your Retainer Case Will Become Your Best Friend.
Clear retainers have a few drawbacks and are an excellent choice for most patients. However, that is not to say that there are no issues with clear retainers. The main problem is that because clear retainers are, well, clear, they may be overlooked and accidentally thrown away if placed on a napkin while eating or left on the edge of the sink. To avoid this, keep your clear retainer in its retainer case whenever you take it out of your mouth.
It is Critical to Understand How to Clean Clear Retainers Effectively.
It is critical to keep your clear retainers clean. Spit and plaque will accumulate on the plastic as you wear them. Not only will they appear cloudy and no longer be virtually invisible, but they will also begin to smell. Furthermore, plaque is made up of bacteria, so every time you put your unlceaned clear retainers in your mouth, you’re also putting extra bacteria in your mouth and allowing plaque to sit against the surface of your teeth.
So, how frequently should your retainer be cleaned? If you only wear it at night, clean it once a day, preferably after you take it out and before you put it back in its case so that it doesn’t stink up your case. Then, when you’re ready to put it back in your mouth at bedtime, it’ll already be clean. If you wear it during the day, clean it when you brush your teeth in the morning and again before bed. It would help if you also cleaned it, or at the very least rinse it, before putting it back in your mouth after meals or snacks.