Whether you are considering Invisalign treatment or are already a patient, you may have questions about what happens once treatment is finished. To maintain the beautiful new smile you have invested in there are some additional steps and ongoing care. The aftercare process and continued treatments best for you or your child will be determined in consultation with your orthodontist, but there are some basic things you should know.
- 1 People Also Ask
- 2 People Answer too
- 3 Invisalign Treatment
- 4 After Invisalign Treatment Ends
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 What Retaining Options are There?
- 7 Fix Your Smile Today
People Also Ask
- Do you need retainer after Invisalign?
- How long do you have to wear a retainer after Invisalign?
- Are retainers included with Invisalign?
- How long will my teeth hurt after Invisalign?
People Answer too
Invisalign is an alternative to traditional braces and uses invisible aligners to move the teeth in a less invasive and more aesthetically pleasing process. AcceleDent, the newest technology, may be used as a complimentary treatment to safely accelerate treatment time with the aligners.
Care and treatment are offered through an orthodontist, a specialist in correcting bites and straightening teeth. Their extensive training and specialized care goes beyond what a dentist is able to provide. As specialists, they recognize technology is constantly changing and strive to bring you the most up-to-date practices and methods.
Rather than traditional messy impressions, offices now use 3D digital scanning to produce images of your jaw and teeth immediately available for you and your specialist to view and assess. This new technology is especially important for newer alignment treatments as it makes it possible to share the information digitally and produce an exceptionally precise fit.
Treatment for adults is typically about 12 months but may vary for teens.
After Invisalign Treatment Ends
Once treatment is complete maintenance must begin. This is true regardless of what type of braces or alignment treatment you use, but the maintenance is important. Consequently, if you don’t follow the maintenance efforts correctly, the work can be undone resulting in
- Incomplete remodeling of the tooth socket and retaining bone
- Teeth beginning to shift again
- Teeth returning to a misaligned state
- A waste of your time and financial investments in your smile
Post-treatment maintenance begins with retainers. Thanks to advancements in technology the retainers used today are more comfortable and less invasive than previous styles. There are some important things to know about care for your retainers, such as
- Do not eat with the retainer(s) in. Sticky food can get caught on it. It is best to remove it all together while eating and replace it when done.
- Do not drink hot beverages with the retainer(s) in as this can melt or damage them.
- Make sure to at least rinse the retainer between taking it out and putting it back in your mouth. It should be cleaned properly at least once a day.
Part of post-treatment maintenance will also be continuing basic oral care. You should brush and floss twice a day, see your dentist twice a year and remain in contact with your orthodontist. You should also contact your specialist right away if you damage your retainer or if something just doesn’t feel right so they can assess the issue and correct any potential problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I get retainers?
There are different types of retainers but the recommended is Vivera, which are made from a stronger clear material than other brands. Vivera retainers are customized using the same state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology that was used to measure and evaluate you for your original alignment trays as well. Furthermore, this ensures proper fit, and it is done in your specialist’s office so you do not need to go to an unfamiliar location. You are able to order the retainers through your provider and the order includes an extra set.
Can’t I just continue to wear my last alignment tray?
Your alignment trays are not meant for continuous wear beyond their treatment cycle. They are likely to become damaged quickly and may also no longer be the correct fit once your treatment is complete. The retainers are a stronger custom-fitted tray to meet your ongoing needs.
How long do I have to wear the retainers?
You may have to use the retainers for life, but how long you have to wear them each day will lessen. Typically you begin wearing them all the time and gradually reduce over time.
How do I know if my retainer is damaged or needs to be replaced?
You should be thoughtful of your retainer, removing it when drinking hot beverages or when eating. You should also make sure to rinse and clean it at least daily. Additionally, if your retainer seems to fit differently, feel differently in your mouth, become more difficult to put in or take out or if you can see damage it is important to get it replaced immediately.
What will happen if I just don’t wear the retainer?
In conclusion, if you don’t wear the retainer your teeth will gradually drift back to their original positions and your investment will have been wasted. It is common for adults who had braces as a child but did not use their retainer to return for treatment again because their teeth have returned to their previous misalignment.
What Retaining Options are There?
A fixed retainer consists of a thin, metal wire that’s glued to the back of the teeth, on the tongue-side. These retainers stay put permanently and offer extra insurance that your teeth won’t move after Invisalign treatment. This method means effort on your part. This means cleaning and caring for the device. It is robust but not indestructable. You’ll find food build up with this device.
Removable retainers come in two forms. Firstly, the traditional wire retainer, known as a Hawley retainer. Secondly, a clear retainer that looks like an Invisalign tray, often referred to as a 3D or Essix retainer. The wire retainer consists of a custom plastic piece that sits against the roof of your mouth and a thin, metal wire that wraps around the front of the teeth. Clear, removable retainers slip over the teeth just like your Invisalign and many Invisalign patients choose this type because it’s what they’re used to and you can barely tell you’re wearing it. You must keep these retainers clean. Treating them the aligners you have just been wearing will do just right.
Fix Your Smile Today
Finally, contact Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today to set up your Invisalign treatment consultation. There’s no reason to put off a visit to our helpful team of professionals. It is our goal to help you make the most of your smile.
When your teeth are aligned properly and your jaw is flowing smoothly, you will find more reasons to flash those pearly whites every day. Let Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics be your partner in good oral hygiene.
Like what you read? Comment below or CLICK on an APP LOGO to follow us and share the conversation.
Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle
Suite 200, Larkspur
What Happens? (After Invisalign Treatment is Completed)
Dr. Jasmine Gorton, a Bay Area native, graduated from UC Berkeley with Bachelor degrees in both Integrative Biology and Social Sciences and then went on to graduate from Harvard with honors for her Doctorate in Dental Medicine.
She continued her education at UCSF with a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Growth and Development, followed by an Orthodontic Residency with a Master of Science in Oral Biology.
She is Board Certified in Orthodontics. She received the American Association of Orthodontics Award for Craniofacial Research and the Harvard Odontological Society Award for Excellence in Research. Her work on preventing decay around braces has been published in the American Journal of Orthodontics.