An Essix Appliance is a clear plastic shell that conforms exactly to the contours of the teeth to aid in the maintenance of tooth position (retention). The Essix material does not typically cover the palatal tissues.
The Essix Appliance is used to maintain a previous orthodontic result or to simply prevent undesirable movement of the teeth. Lower retainers are most often bonded to the six front teeth and are invisible to the world. The upper retainers are most often Essix Appliances – clear plastic shells that cover the teeth like an invisible “second skin”. Retention appliances are typically worn full-time for one year following orthodontic therapy to allow for remodeling of the bones and gums and then nightly thereafter to maintain the orthodontic correction.
We encourage patients to clean the appliance with toothpaste and a toothbrush. If the appliance needs a deeper cleaning, anti-bacterial soap and warm water can often help, followed by a cleaning with toothpaste. Mouthwash should NOT be used and hot water should also be avoided to prevent distortion of the Essix material.
What to Expect
Upon initial placement, there may be some tongue obstruction, but your speech will be back to normal in just a few days.
Dr. Bronsky’s Tip
Read your favorite book, magazine, etc. to yourself in front of the mirror for five minutes a day – your speech will be perfect in no time.
Please Note: If the Essix Appliance shows signs of “wear and tear”, there is usually no cause for concern unless it breaks completely.
Retention is as important as the treatment itself and is essential to the long-term maintenance of your new bite and smile.