Using a Retainer after Invisalign®
Invisalign® is a metal-free teeth straightening system that can correct the most common misalignment problems. Invisalign offers patients a more comfortable and discreet solution for issues such as a crossbite, overbite, or underbite. In addition, Invisalign provides results in roughly the same timeframe as traditional braces.
After Invisalign treatment is complete, patients need to take proper steps to maintain treatment results. At Astoria Dental Group in Queens, NY, we provide our patients with a retainer after Invisalign. A retainer holds the jaw in place so that the teeth and bone do not shift back to their previous position. If you are interested in Invisalign treatment, contact our practice. We serve patients in Long Island, NYC, and surrounding areas.
The Importance of a Retainer
During Invisalign treatment, aligner trays apply constant pressure to the teeth and jaw. This subtle pressure encourages the teeth and jaw to shift to their ideal position. Since the jaw is gradually moving throughout Invisalign treatment, the tissues will be soft and flexible. When Invisalign treatment is first complete, the jaw will remain soft for a short period of time.
While jaw tissues are soft, it will be easy for the bone (and teeth) to shift. A retainer is vital to maintaining Invisalign treatment results, because it holds the teeth and jaw in their proper position. A retainer prevents movement and gives the bone time to reharden so that shifting is less likely.
How Long Will I Need a Retainer?
To maintain results after Invisalign treatment, our patients should plan to use a retainer for the rest of their lives. This may sound like a huge inconvenience for people who have just gotten through Invisalign treatment, but it’s not as bad as it seems.
When Invisalign treatment is complete, patients will be instructed to wear their retainer full-time. As with their aligner trays, retainers should be worn at least 20 to 22 hours a day, or any time that the patient is not eating. Fortunately, retainers only need to be worn full-time for a brief amount of time. Within a few months, the jaw should be firm and patients can cut back on their retainer use.
Once our doctors see that Invisalign treatment results are stable, patients will be able to reduce the use of their retainer. At this point, patients will only need to use their retainer while they sleep. Individuals should be comfortable wearing a retainer at this point, so it should be hardly noticeable.
Caring for your Retainer
Since our patients will need a retainer for the rest of their lives, they will want to be very careful about how they care for the retainer. Cleaning and storing retainers properly can cut back on costly repairs or replacement.
- Remove retainers prior to eating
- Clean or rinse retainers every time they are removed
- Clean retainers with warm, soapy water or a special retainer cleaner at least once a day
- Brush retainers with a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Keep retainers in a clean, closed storage case when not in use
Invisalign is a comfortable, convenient, and discreet solution for common malocclusion problems. To learn more about Invisalign treatment, and whether this procedure is right for you, call (718) 278-1123 to schedule an appointment with one of the experienced dentists at Astoria Dental Group. We serve patients in Queens, Long Island, and NYC.