Health Blog

Clear Retainers: 6 Things You Should Know

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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.

Though the standard Hawley retainer made of acrylic and wire is practical, 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?

We’ve compiled a list of six facts about clear retainers to help you find answers and highlight some of their benefits.

Clear Retainers Prevent Teeth Shifting Following Braces or Invisalign Treatment.

Braces and Invisalign in Singapore use bone remodelling, a natural process, to move your teeth. Your appliance applies a gentle force to the supporting bone and tissues, allowing the teeth to move where they are directed. However, this also means teeth shift back to their original positions after braces or Invisalign treatment.

They’re comfortable.

For a perfect fit, clear retainers are smooth and custom-moulded. They are extremely comfortable and slip over your teeth. While all types of retainers are comfortable after acclimating, many patients find wearing a clear retainer is the easiest to adjust.

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 company that makes Invisalign has an Invisalign retainer called a Vivera® retainer. The retainer material is thicker and designed to last for years, whereas aligners are only intended to last a few weeks.


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 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 (both stains on your teeth and discoloured retainers).

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 Essix retainers are less expensive. You also don’t have to worry about them getting damaged because they don’t have components like wires or an acrylic piece that can break, which would necessitate purchasing a replacement. However, clear retainers are more expensive if you lose them frequently and have to purchase new ones regularly, which brings us to our next point about using your retainer case!

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 there are no issues with clear retainers. The main issue is that because clear retainers are 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.