If you have been wearing Invisalign clear aligners and are nearing the end of your treatment, you may wonder if you will wear retainers. The answer is yes, and David L. Dooley DDS, David B. Lewis, Jr. DDS and Alexander Quezada DDS of Colonial Dental Group strongly recommend that you do.
So, how often should you wear your Invisalign retainers? The answer to this common question impacts how straight and beautiful your newly refurbished smile remains. The dentists at Colonial Dental Group in Glenview, IL want your teeth to stay healthy, your bite correct and the jawbone strong; so they advise their Invisalign patients wear retainers according to their specific instructions.
Typically, Invisalign patients use Vivera retainers, durable thermoplastic appliances resembling the invisible aligners used during orthodontic correction. Dentists design the retainers from impressions and photos taken with an intra-oral camera, producing a snug, custom fit that keeps teeth in their corrected positions. Just like the Invisalign aligners, the retainers are comfortable, strong and unobtrusive in appearance.
When to Wear
Usually, patients wear their retainers according to a definite schedule such as:
- 12 to 22 hours for the first 3 to 6 months after treatment
- night time only for the next 6 to 12 months and beyond
- 3 to 5 times per week after one year and beyond
The timetable varies depending on the complexity of the original orthodontic problem and on the patient's age. Colonial Dental Group sometimes advise retainers for additional correction of minor tooth alignment issues.
Why to Wear
For best retention, patients use retainers for the long term, protecting the investment of their time and family budget, too. Bite, spacing issues, closed gaps and other issues corrected by Invisalign aligners stay corrected when patients wear their retainers as instructed. The American Association of Orthodontists states that teeth remember their original positions, correct or not. So, no retainer means tooth drifting.
Retainers strengthen the underlying jaw bone and supporting ligaments, too Not only do teeth change position while wearing braces or clear aligners, the bone and connective tissue changes. Retainers definitely benefit and reinforce the new bone configuration.
Contact Colonial Dental Group
Every orthodontic patient has questions. Feel free to call Drs. Dooley, Lewis and Quezada with your concerns about retainers or any other aspect of orthodontic care. They really want your new Invisalign smile to function well and remain beautiful forever. Contact the office today for a consultation: (847) 729-2233.