Wondering wether you are going to need retainers after Invisalign, and if so for how long?
Invisalign braces are one of the best ways to get your teeth straight, but is this a permanent solution and what do you need to wear once the treatment plan is over?
If you want to maintain your beautifully straight smile you need to wear retainers after the Invisalign treatment. This blog post will help you understand what is the main purpose of removable retainers and how to choose the best one.
So, if you want to learn more about orthodontic retainers keep on reading and stay tuned until the end for all the tips and tricks.
How does Invisalign treatment work?
Invisalign moves teeth differently than traditional metal braces and it’s considered to be a much more comfortable way of getting amazing and straight teeth. The clear aligners are made from high-quality plastic but, just like any other treatment, there are some things you need to know about before committing to the plan.
Step 1. Assessment
The Invisalign treatment begins with an assessment from your orthodontist. Your cosmetic dentists will determine if you are a good candidate for the Invisalign process and determine the best way to get your beautifully straight smile.
Not everyone is a suitable patient for the Invisalign treatment and some people might do better with traditional metal braces. This is why you need to make the appointment as soon as possible and get the best orthodontic care.
Step 2. Clear Invisalign aligners
Clear aligners are created to perfectly fit around your teeth and push them gently in the right position. Invisalign trays are changed every two weeks and you need to wear them for at least 22 hours each day.
This will align your teeth and create that perfect smile. But is that all?
Step 3. Retainer After Invisalign
Once the treatment is over you need to wear retainers to prevent teeth from moving into their original positions. Considering teeth and the surrounding jawbone are just getting used to the final positions you need to make sure to wear retainers and prevent noticeable changes while maintaining your beautiful smile.
Common Invisalign Retainers after Invisalign aligners
Your teeth will not move too much once the jawbone regains bone tissue but you still need to wear retainers and maintain the beautiful smile you worked so hard to get. There are many different retainers on the market, so we will name a few to help you make an informed decision.
Essix retainers stabilize teeth just like Invisalign aligners. The retainer is made from similar clear plastic and it’s pretty comfortable to wear but durable at the same time. The only thing that can shorten the lifespan of Essix retainers is low maintenance and teeth grinding.
The Hawley retainers
Hawley retainers look like old braces that children used to wear. There is a plastic piece connected with wires that ensure proper positioning of the teeth. While the Hawley retainer after Invisalign treatment is not common, some people prefer this method over other options on our list.
Vivera retainers are Invisalign official treatment for maintaining your perfect smile. These retainers are made from high-quality plastic and they come in a few trays that will allow you everyday wear and not worry about misplacing and losing the retainer.
Vivera retainers are a bit more expensive but on the other hand, Invisalign will save your data and replace retainers as needed.
This can be a huge relief for people who don’t have the time to go to the dentist’s office and get a new retainer each time the old one gets damaged or lost. So, a Vivera retainer might be the best permanent solution once you stop wearing Invisalign.
The Fixed Retainers (Permanent retainers)
If you want to wear a retainer constantly and not worry about losing and misplacing one you might want to consider fixed or permanent retainers. This orthodontic treatment is glued wire on the back of your teeth preventing them from shifting back.
It’s a great option for people who had bigger misalignments to fix but keep in mind that metal wire is harder to clean. You need to make sure to floss underneath and brush your teeth thoroughly to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
A lot of patients will shift to clear retainers after some time because they can be removed and cleaned properly.
Do I need to wear Invisalign retainers?
Yes, you need to wear a retainer after Invisalign until enough bone tissue has formed to keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions.
The Invisalign treatment can be a demanding process that takes a few months to completely move your teeth. Once the teeth gradually shift into the optimal position the bone deposited will take some time to completely seal the new position.
This is where your clear retainer comes into play and maintains the new position of your teeth. Even though you might not notice overnight that your teeth are moving they will shift back once you have the braces removed.
So, make sure to follow the treatment prescribed by your orthodontist and choose the best new retainer from our list.
Do I need retainers after alternative Invisalign treatments?
You might be wondering what is the procedure if you opt for some of the alternatives for Invisalign like Byte, Candid, Smile Direct, or Aligner Co. These are all amazing and affordable options on the market but you still need to wear yet another oral appliance once you are done with the treatment.
All of the companies mentioned usually offer custom-made retainers but you can always choose one of the options on the list. Make sure to talk to your orthodontist about the best options for your retainer and make the appointment today.
How to take care of a removable retainer?
Invisalign retainers need to be properly cleaned and stored for the best results. Just like any other oral appliance this one too demands brushing and rinsing every time you take them off.
Depending on the model of retainer forever you have chosen the cleaning process will be easier or harder to achieve. Vivera retainer and Essix retainers are usually the easiest ones to clean because they are completely removable.
On the other hand, if you decide to get Invisalign retainers that are partly held by glue on your teeth you need to make an appointment for cleaning professionally from time to time. This will ensure the retainer is clean and your teeth are safe from buildup and bacteria.
How long do you need to wear this orthodontic treatment?
Most patients have to wear the retainer for 22 hours each day in the first six months or until enough new bone has secured the permanent position of the teeth. This shouldn’t be a demanding task because you will be used to the Invisalign aligners and it shouldn’t feel tight because teeth moving is no longer the main purpose.
Once the initial six months have passed most patients can wear a retainer only at night, but keep in mind that your need to consistently wear this oral appliance for the rest of your life.
In case you accidentally threw or lost your retainer forever you need to get a replacement as soon as possible. A few days will make no difference, but your teeth might slightly shift to their original positions.
Wearing Invisalign retainers is a lifelong commitment that will ensure you have the best smile you worked so hard to get. The Invisalign treatment is so efficient because the body has a natural process called resorption that softens the jawbone and allows your teeth to slightly shift into optimal position.
On the other hand, this soft bone means you need to help your teeth remain in a new position until enough bone is deposited in the right places to support placement.
So, wearing the Invisalign retainers is a must for every patient that is done with the treatment it’s only up to you to choose the best retainer and make the appointment as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that the retainers need to be worn constantly and in case your dog ate the plastic, you misplaced or lost the retainer you need to get a replacement right away. Invisalign retainers can be quite expensive so make sure to check out the affordable alternatives that are available on the market.