When I was researching Acrylic-Free retainers, I came across the Island Retainer company first. What a discovery!
This retainer is VERY comfortable, and it's quite easy to speak while wearing. It's great if you are on the phone all day at work as you will be able to speak without impediment (no lisp like I had with the Invisalign Retainer).
You can eat soft foods such as cake, applesauce, mashed potatos, rice, icecream, etc. I don't recommend eating meats such as Steak, or hamburgers while wearing the Island Retainer as you will risk bending them. They also pop out if you have too much food in your mouth, but I can snack/eat at my desk and then pop the Island Retainer back in when I'm done ... without leaving my desk to go brush my teeth several times a day.
With the Invisalign, I found it impractical for snacking at work as you have to keep brushing your teeth before putting them back on (can't keep leaving my desk at work).
This was my retainer of choice because it's Acrylic Free and there is no gag-reflex as with the traditional mouthpiece retainer or the Invisalign Retainer. I am pressure-sensitive so removing the Invisalign Retainer was very uncomfortable for me.
My insurance covered 90% of my treatment with braces and retainer COMBINED, but my Orthodontist said it would be $350 to REPLACE if I lost them, so this is not recommended for younger children or teens who are not responsible. They can be easy to lose (they are quite small).
As with any retainer, in the beginning there is some MILD discomfort as you adjust to wearing the retainer. Ibuprofin will help alleviate that. After a while, you will forget you are wearing them.
I'm so pleased I found the Island Retainer, and I highly recommend it. Again, it's very comfortable and most people didn't even realize I had them on (I got the traditional Silver). Glad I found them, and I love my retainers! You will, too. (I only have to wear mine half-days now).
***My Orthodontist says the Island Retainer Company always attends the Orthodontic Conventions.
**$350 is what is would cost to REPLACE mine*** Please check with your insurance provider to verify initial coverage/copayment and replacement costs regarding YOUR individual and specific needs.****