There have been some exciting developments in the orthodontics industry over the past decade, with new treatment options available which are more comfortable and discreet than traditional metal braces. One treatment option which has become very popular in recent years is called Invisalign. Rather than using brackets and archwires, Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners (resembling a very thin mouthguard) to shift teeth into the desired position. Using advanced 3D software, orthodontists design the tooth movement process digitally and patients are required to substitute to a new set of aligners every week or two.
Being just as effective as traditional metal braces, Invisalign obviously has a myriad of advantages which patients clearly enjoy. Once patients’ Invisalign treatment has finished, it’s important to remember that maintaining a healthy mouth and beautiful smile is an ongoing process. Patients are required to wear a retainer post-treatment which helps to stabilise teeth in the new position and it’s vital that patients wear their retainer diligently to prevent their teeth from relapsing into their old position. To give you some insight, today we’re going to discuss post-Invisalign retainers in more detail to ensure you can reap the rewards off your hard work for many years to come.
What will my retainer look like?
Most patients are required to wear a temporary retainer which is very similar to your Invisalign aligners. They’re clear, removable, and made from plastic which fits comfortably over your teeth and is removed when eating and cleaning your teeth. Some patients are offered a fixed retainer which is essentially a thin wire that is glued to the back of your top and bottom teeth. The drawback to wearing a fixed retainer is that flossing is more difficult which makes maintaining good oral health more challenging.
Why wear a retainer?
Teeth are shifted into a different position through the ‘bone remodelling’ process whereby pressure is applied to the teeth which allows them to be moved. Once Invisalign treatment has finished, your teeth, bones, and surrounding tissue are still vulnerable and will try to move back into their old position. To give your teeth time to settle down and stabilise in their new position, patients are required to wear a retainer for typically at least one year and the frequency varies from patient to patient. If you neglect wearing your retainer, it can potentially undo all the hard work you’ve invested in Invisalign treatment.
How often do I wear a retainer?
To begin with, most patients are required to wear their retainer all the time until their teeth become stabilised. This generally takes about one year since Invisalign treatment was completed, however your orthodontist will periodically assess your progress and may reduce this frequency earlier than planned. Once your teeth are stabilised, you’ll typically only need to wear your retainer throughout the night. Again, how often you need to wear your retainer varies from patient to patient but bear in mind that the longer you wear your retainer, the longer your teeth will stay in the perfect position.
How will my retainer affect my everyday life?
Considering that your retainer is very similar to Invisalign aligners, you won’t notice any difference in your everyday life to when you were undergoing treatment. Your retainer is virtually invisible to people around you so most people won’t even notice your retainer. You’ll just need to be careful to remove your retainer when eating, cleaning your mouth, or playing sports, and take care of your retainer by regularly cleaning it and storing it safely when you’re not wearing it. This will ensure that you maintain good oral hygiene after your treatment has finished.
Maintain a stunning smile
Investing a year or more in Invisalign treatment takes a great deal of hard work and dedication, so you want to ensure you maintain your stunning smile for many years to come by diligently wearing your retainer. Before too long, you’ll only need to wear your retainer during the night and you’ll be smiling with confidence throughout the day!
If you’re interested in Invisalign treatment to correct any orthodontic issues, get in touch with the professionals at Clear Invisible Braces on the Gold Coast who offers all new patients a free initial consultation. For more information or to schedule an appointment, simply phone our friendly staff on 07 5689 1225.