Completing Invisalign treatment is exciting because the patient would have finally achieved the desired goal for the teeth and no longer have to wear the aligner for 22 hours a day. In order to maintain the positive effects of the treatments, however, they will have to wear retainers to hold the teeth in place.
How many hours a day will I need to wear my Invisalign retainers?
Once the Invisalign treatment is complete, the dentist will devise an aftercare plan for the patient, which involves wearing retainers to ensure that the treatment is not reversed.
Do I really need to wear a retainer?
Yes. Wearing a retainer is essential to completing the Invisalign treatment because the retainer holds the teeth in the current position and prevents them from shifting back to pre-treatment position.
Failure to wear the retainer as directed by the dentist could mean having to start treatment over again since the teeth can easily shift out of position. For those who do not want to wear Invisalign aligners for another 18 months, following the dentist’s instructions and wearing the retainers is the best option.
How long do I have to wear retainers before treatment is officially complete?
After a patient is finished with the Invisalign aligners, they will have to wear a retainer for 22 hours a day for the first three to six months after completing the treatment. After six months, the orthodontist will examine the mouth to make sure that the teeth are securely in place before allowing the patient to transition to wearing the retainer only at bedtime.
Even though the patient will only have to wear it at night, the retainer should be worn for about a year. Once the year is up, the patient will only have to wear the retainer every other night. However, the dentists will advise them to continue doing so for the rest of their lives because the teeth will eventually move back to the original position before treatment if the retainers are not worn.
How do I take care of my retainer?
Since we have established that patients will be required to wear a retainer for the rest of their lives, proper care is essential so as to not waste money replacing it frequently. The best way to take care of a retainer is to keep it in a container when it is not being used. This is to prevent bacteria buildup and the risk of losing them.
Instead of using toothpaste to clean the retainer, dentists recommend using soap and water or tablets designed for cleaning retainers. Patients are also advised to remember to take the retainer out when eating to prevent food from getting inside and damaging them. Patients should also avoid drinking hot beverages with the retainer in the mouth to prevent them from melting or warping.
Even though the prospect of wearing a retainer for the rest of your life sounds daunting, it is a small price to pay because retainers prevent your teeth from moving back to their original position. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to go over any concerns you have about wearing a retainer after treatment is complete.
Call our Leawood, KS, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.
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