When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 12 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you've put in so far. Dr. Wirig prefers using Essix retainers for most patients, but at times, he may opt to use a Hawley type or fixed permanent retainer. He would be happy to discuss retention options and recommendations.

Essix Retainers

Essix RetainerWearing your Essix invisible (Invisalign-type) retainer properly is your guarantee that your beautiful smile will remain unchanged with time. Using the Essix retainer is simple. The important thing to remember is that your teeth will remain well positioned only if you wear your retainers consistently. If not, they will move.

Essix retainers are like plastic tooth gloves, fitting over your teeth perfectly. The type of Essix retainers that we use are clear. The Essix retainer is made of a stiff material and holds the teeth in position very strongly. But, it may be worn down by your bite and may have to be replaced after a couple of years.

  1. The appliance must be worn as prescribed by Dr. Wirig and may be taken out when eating and brushing your teeth.
  2. If there is prolonged irritation of the gums, lips, cheeks or tongue, make no attempt to adjust the retainer yourself. Phone for an emergency appointment.
  3. Essix retainers will last approximately 2–4 years or slightly longer. If you tend to grind your teeth at night, expect the retainer to wear out sooner. It is your responsibility to replace your retainer if it deteriorates. There is a $150 charge for each Essix replacement retainer.

Take Care of Your Essix Retainer

  1. When the retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in the plastic container provided. This will protect it from being lost. Never keep your retainer in your pocket or a wrapped tissue.
  2. Your retainer is sensitive to extreme temperatures. Never leave it in a hot car or a cold car, and don't boil or microwave it to disinfect it.
  3. Keep your retainer out of reach from dogs and cats — they love to eat them.
  4. Brush your retainer when you brush your teeth. You may use your regular toothbrush and toothpaste to do this or dip your toothbrush in mouthwash. Failure to brush your retainer will result in a bad build up and odor.

The responsibility for keeping your teeth in position now rests completely with you. Not wearing your retainer is a decision to let your teeth move. You must be constant in your determination not to let that happen. Be sure to let us know if anything happens to your retainer or teeth that keeps you from using it. The majority of patients will need to wear retainers in varying amounts for the rest of their lives.