How Long Will You Need to Wear a Retainer After Completing Your Invisalign Treatment?

January 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkoch @ 2:03 pm
Close-up of a light blue orthodontic retainer

You have just finished wearing your last set of Invisalign aligners and are now enjoying the benefits of a beautifully straight smile. But the process isn’t quite done; your dentist has given you a retainer to help make sure that the results of your treatment last. The question that naturally comes to your mind is, “How long will I need to wear my retainer?” Here’s a short guide to what you can typically expect.

Why is Wearing a Retainer After Invisalign Treatment Necessary?

Invisalign aligners put constant pressure on your teeth in order to gradually move them, eventually creating a straighter grin. However, if your teeth are left alone, they won’t stay in their new positions forever; given enough time, they can eventually drift back to where they used to be, essentially erasing the results of the treatment that you invested so much time and money in.

By using a retainer, you can help ensure that your teeth stay right where you want them. As long as you follow the instructions you’re given and wear your retainer as instructed, you can continue to enjoy your new smile for a very long time.

How Long Will You Need to Wear Your Retainer?

Since the possibility of your teeth drifting out of position will never fully go away, you will have to wear a retainer for the rest of your life in order to make sure that your Invisalign treatment is not undone.

It should be noted that retainers can be fixed or removable. Fixed retainers stay in your mouth at all times while removable retainers can be taken out as needed. When it comes to a removable retainer, you will likely need to keep it in your mouth all day and all night at first. After a while, you should eventually reach the point where you only need to wear your retainer at night.

Of course, every patient has unique needs. Some individuals may need to wear their retainers more often than others. Your dentist will give you clear instructions on how often to use your retainer; make sure that you follow these instructions to the letter.

Will You Eventually Need to Replace Your Retainer?

No matter what kind of retainer you have, you can expect to need to replace it at some point. Many retainers can last for around a decade, but their exact lifespans can vary depending on the care they receive. Let your dentist know immediately if your retainer breaks or has become significantly worn down.

Wearing your retainer is an essential part of the Invisalign process. As long as you continue to wear a retainer for life, you will be able to continue enjoying the benefits of a straighter smile.

About the Author

Dr. Darren Koch went to The University at Buffalo, where he eventually graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery. Today, he is a member of the American Academy of Clear Aligners, which once chose one of his Invisalign cases as Case of the Month. He has helped many a patient achieve a straighter smile with Invisalign. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Koch at his office in Cary, visit his website or call (919) 859-6633.

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