Do I Need To Wear A Retainer After Invisalign?

Invisalign has allowed many people to straighten their smiles and improve their bite without having to go through the awkwardness of traditional metal braces. This treatment can last from a few months to a few years, depending on your alignment issue as well as compliance with wearing the aligners.

After a while, it’s understandable you may be looking forward to an aligner-free future. However, even if you finish your Invisalign treatment, you will still need to wear a retainer to make sure your new smile lasts.

Why Do You Need to Wear a Retainer after Invisalign?

Invisalign slowly repositions your teeth. Over the course of your treatment, you need to wear the aligners for 20-22 hours a day, and only take them out to eat or for oral hygiene purposes.

The effects are not limited to your teeth, however. Invisalign also slightly softens your jaw to allow the teeth to follow the desired movement and reach their most optimal position. After you finish your Invisalign treatment, the jaw is still soft, which could mean your teeth can go back to their initial position. This is where the retainer comes in.

A retainer is an orthodontic device designed to help keep your smile straight after metal braces or Invisalign treatment.

The retainer makes sure your teeth stay where they’re supposed to. It buys you more time to allow the jawbone to heal and for the teeth to stabilize.

How Long Do You Need to Wear a Retainer?

Patients usually need to wear a retainer their entire life, which is not something they’re initially excited about.

However, you shouldn’t compare wearing your retainer with wearing your Invisalign aligners - they are completely different!

While every patient is different, retainers are usually worn:

  • Around the clock for the first 3 or so months after your Invisalign treatment ends
  • Daily, but only at night for months 4-12;
  • Once every 3-5 days after the first 12 months pass

Though you finish your Invisalign treatment, your Colorado Springs dentist will still oversee your case. They will inspect your teeth and if you’re responding well to the retainers, they can change the wearing frequency as needed.

What Happens If You Lose Your Retainers?

If you lose your retainers, you will need to get them replaced. Remember, wearing the retainers helps keep your smile straight and your bite healthy. Without retainers, your alignment and bite issues may come back and completely erase the effects of Invisalign.

So don’t go too long without them!

Interested in Invisalign? We Can Help!

If you’re dealing with teeth alignment or bite problems, a consultation with Dr. Paul Effinger can help you unlock the path toward a healthier smile!

Book an appointment at Alliance Family Dentistry online to get started.

If you want to find out more about Invisalign or our services, call us today at (719) 955-4023 for a chat.