Whether you’ve been working through your Invisalign treatment over the last couple of months or more than a year, you’ve likely dreamed of the day when it comes time to take them off for good. However, your perfectly straight teeth won’t stay in their new and improved position without some help. That’s why you’ll be given a retainer following your treatment! Here’s how long you’ll have to wear your retainer after Invisalign.
So, How Long Do You Have to Wear Your Invisalign Retainer?
Once you’ve completed your series of clear aligners, your teeth will need time to “set” in place. As a result, you’ll most likely be asked to wear your retainer for 22 hours a day for the first six months. After that, you can begin wearing them three or four days a week before transitioning to only wearing them at night. For the best results, you should plan on wearing them indefinitely.
What Happens If You Don’t Wear Your Retainer
If you don’t wear your retainer, you’ll be at risk for orthodontic relapse. This is when your teeth begin to shift back into their previous positions. This can be problematic for a number of reasons. To start, the changes to your bite can lead to unpleasant consequences like difficulty chewing and teeth grinding. Additionally, misaligned teeth leave you more vulnerable to developing dental problems like cavities and gum disease. Of course, the waste of your time and money is important to consider as well.
Tips for Caring for & Wearing Your Retainer
After reading through the above information, you know just how important your retainer is. To keep it in pristine condition and preserve your results, here are a few best practices to follow:
- When not in use, store it in a sturdy, colorful case. This will prevent it from breaking or accidentally getting thrown away.
- Clean it regularly. Brushing your retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush and dentist-recommended cleaner each day will keep it free of plaque, food particles, and other debris.
- Avoid heat. Rinsing your retainer with hot water can warp its shape, rendering it virtually useless.
- Wear your retainer often. Even if you’re past the first six months, wearing it as often as you can will help prevent orthodontic relapse.
- Get a replacement if it chips or breaks. If your retainer gets damaged or misplaced, contact your dentist right away to get a replacement.
Remember, your retainer is designed to help you preserve your hard-earned results, so make sure to wear it! That way, you can enjoy your new and improved smile for years and years to come.
About the Practice
Led by Dr. Ernie Costello and Dr. Jay DeHart, our team at Costello & DeHart Dental Excellence is dedicated to an important mission: providing nearby patients with the beautiful, healthy smiles they deserve. That’s why we offer everything from refreshing cleanings to smile-transforming Invisalign under one roof! If you have any questions about the Invisalign treatment process or want to schedule an initial consultation, don’t hesitate to visit our website or give us a call at 847-259-1111.