Teeth Care

Clear Dental Retainers

Clear Dental Retainers

Better fit. Better price.

The Art of Scalloping

This article discusses the trimming and polishing methods of clear dental retainers, the benefits of implementing the scallop technique and answers some commonly asked questions about dental retainers.

Please note Sentinel Mouthguards does not provide services to straighten teeth. The dental retainers available for purchase are the FINAL clear retainer set AFTER all dental work has been completed. These are custom made aligners intended to keep your teeth in their current position and PREVENT any teeth shifting/movement. This is an excellent, affordable option in the event you need to purchase a new set of dental retainers.

What is dental retainer scalloping?

The scalloping of dental retainers involves trimming the clear aligners to follow the gum margin exactly as it appears on the individual (pictured above). The scalloped dental retainers should snap into place and fit over the whites of your teeth beautifully.

Other ways dental retainers are commonly cut and shaped

Dental retainers can be cut straight at or above the gingival zenith.

Why do we scallop our dental retainers?

This extra step ensures better retention, better comfort and improves the efficiency overtime. Yes. It takes a bit more time to fabricate the appliance but the results are worth it! If dental retainers are not trimmed and polished with care, the wearer may experience pain or discomfort. A common complaint while wearing clear retainers includes a cutting or pressing feeling in the gum area. Trimming and polishing the margins in a scalloped fashion lessens the risk of sharp plastic edges causing and issues.

Why do we use Essix Plus Dental Retainer Material over other brands?

Dentsply Sirona Orthodontics is a longstanding, proven brand of dental retainer material. In 2014 they improved their Essix thermoforming plastics by increasing the durability. They released this as Essix Plus Dental Retainer Material. This durability is also great for customers that grind or clench their teeth at night.

The standard Essix material has served customers well for many years but this new improvement not only strengthened the retainers, it lengthened the life of them as well.

How are the dental retainers supposed to fit?

The dental retainers are thin and clear and made to be an exact match to your current dental anatomy. They will snap into place. They may feel tight at first but will adapt to you after several nights’ use.

Why do I have to wear dental retainers after braces?

Most orthodontists recommend wearing dental retainers after braces because the teeth are still susceptible to shifting. By choosing not to wear your dental retainers you run the risk of having your teeth slide back to their former position. This of course would be an ultimate waste of money and hard work!

How often do I have to wear my retainers after braces?

This is up to your orthodontist. He/she will be able to evaluate your unique needs. You can expect to wear your retainers consistently at least 12 months after braces and maybe longer.

What is the difference between removable and metal/traditional braces?

Removable braces are thin, thermoformed aligners that can be removed with ease whenever necessary. These types are far less noticeable than traditional fixed braces. Services such as Smile Direct Club and Byteme.com are now offering this type of corrective treatment online.

Fixed braces are easy to spot. They’re the most common type still worn today. These braces most often seen on kids and young adults cannot be removed unless treatment has been completed and an orthodontist removes them. They are square brackets that attach to your teeth generally using a composite material. A wire runs through the brackets. An orthodontist makes small micro movements to the teeth overtime to slowly change the position of the teeth (see picture).

Need a replacement set of replacement retainers?

Thank you for taking the time to read our article!

Have more questions or concerns. Please visit us at sentinelmouthguards.com

Our operating hours are from 9am-5pm Eastern Time. Customer service can be reached at 1.888.317.0724

Author

Ashely Notarmaso

Ashely Notarmaso is the author behind the Sentinel Mouth Guard Blog. She is the CEO and founder of Sentinel Mouth Guards, LLC. (Founded in 2012) and has over a decade of experience in the dental field. She has worked as a laboratory technician in several dental laboratories and dental offices in the US. She has written over 70 highly regarded articles on all things mouth guard related. Ashelys long-time work in the dental mouth guard arena and her excellent ability to listen to customer concerns in this often contradictory field has laid the groundwork to explore night guard/mouth guard fabrication in-depth and address real concerns. With the help of her team, she has created a unique fabrication method that promises a great fitting custom oral appliance every time. Amazon’s choice for #1 mouth guard! Visit the online store http://sentinelmouthguards.com

Verified By

Ashely Notarmaso


Louisiana State University

Ashely Notarmaso is the owner of Sentinel Mouthguards. She has over 10+ years experience in dental night guard and sports mouth guard fabrication. She is a wife, mother, roller skater and frequent blogger who keeps tabs on the latest updates in mouthguard technology. Ashely is a member of the ABWA (American Business Women’s Association) and NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners).