Clarity On Post-Treatment Retainers and Other Crucial Aspects from Leading Invisalign Dentists


Invisalign works pretty fast. It can straighten your teeth in just 12 to 18 months. But it is important to wear retainers as per your dentist’s instructions even after the treatment ends. This is very important. If you ignore this instruction there are high chances that your teeth will sink back into their original position within a few days. Retainers are a tried and tested appliance that prevents the teeth straightened by an orthodontic procedure from sinking back to their initial position. In dental terminology this is called teeth relapse or relapsing of the teeth. When your teeth relapse – that is they sink back into their original position – it affects the appearance of your smile. Moreover it can also affect your oral health and dental wellbeing.

Let us cover few common questions asked by patients. These questions revolve around matters that become relevant to you only after completing your Invisalign treatment. In other words, here is what you should be aware about your teeth retainers.

My teeth may sink back into their original position if I ignore wearing retainers. Why do the teeth move?

After completing Invisalign treatment it is obvious – not just for you but anyone – to be reluctant about wearing yet another dental appliance. However you should try to understand this is utmost important to wear retainers as per the instructions given by your invisalign dentist. Else the teeth are more likely to gradually sink back into their original position. Initially you may not notice that the teeth are relapsing or shifting away from their corrected positions. But in course of time that will become obvious without any effort. Here is an example to explain it better. When you wear your retainers after a few days of gap it may fit snugly to make you feel uncomfortable. On the other hand when you wear your retainers regularly without any break the appliance fits easily on the teeth.

It is absolutely a normal phenomenon for your teeth to move a little after your Invisalign braces are removed or you stop wearing the braces. This occurs as a result of everyday wear and tear of the teeth. You bite down, speak, swallow and chew. These activities result in little shifting of the teeth. Retainers are designed to prevent this minute shifts. A retainer not only retains the teeth to their corrected positions but also retains your beautiful smile.

Is it really necessary to wear retainers after Invisalign treatment?

Yes it is very important to slip on your retainers after Invisalign treatment comes to an end. In fact you have to wear a retainer mandatorily after every orthodontic teeth straightening procedure. In contrast to conventional metal braces the Invisalign trays move the teeth differently. Yet the result is still the same. Wearing retainers is must even after your treatment successfully ends.

What can I expect after the final set of my Invisalign braces comes off?

The surrounding jawbone is responsible to hold the teeth in place. During your Invisalign treatment your jawbone gets softened and eventually disappears. This is called resorption in dental terminology. Only because resorption occurs your teeth can gradually shift into their corrected positions. Once your treatment comes to an end you stop wearing the aligner trays any more. It is during this time you need to wear retainers so that the teeth are held in place artificially till new jawbone grows to hold the teeth in place. The procedure of growing new jawbone does not last overnight. It takes at least 9 months to a year for the body to deposit enough bone mass in the jaw area to support your teeth. Till then you must take help of the appliance to keep your teeth stabilised.

What do I expect about a year after Invisalign?

By the end of a year from your Invisalign completion date your body should have deposited enough bone mass around the jaws to keep the teeth stabilised. Thus you may not have to wear those retainers on regular basis and religious manner to maintain your improved smile. In that circumstance your dentist may recommend you wearing the retainers anywhere between 3 and 5 times a week.

Once your jaws regain the necessary bone mass and bone tissues your teeth will not move as drastically as to ruin your beautiful smile. However those can always move a little forward as well as inward as you get older. But you will not notice this change overnight as this minor shifting happens gradually across decades.

If I lose my retainer what should I do?

If you ever lose your retainer you have to get in touch with your Invisalign dentist immediately. A new set of retainers has to be get readied for you as fast as possible so that there is no loss in progress you achieved with your orthodontic procedure. Impressions of your teeth will be collected during the appointment to prepare your fresh set of retainer.

Now that we have covered almost every crucial aspect on post Invisalign retainers, let us quickly go through a few crucial facts about invislaign. This will help taking an informed decision about undergoing Invisalign procedure.

How severe is the pain involved in Invisalign?

Invisalign is not painful and you can be assured about that. However it may leave the teeth feeling sore. When you first switch on to your braces the teeth are bound to feel uncomfortable. The teeth are never used to the pressure that is exerted by the braces. The same discomfort continues as the braces are tightened. And this discomfort is common in any orthodontic treatment you name. Invisalign is no exception.

How long will this discomfort last?

Usually this soreness and discomfort last for a few days every time you switch to a fresh set of aligners. Within a few days the teeth get used to the aligners and the discomfort as well as the soreness disappears. In Invisalign procedure you switch over to a set of aligners tentatively every couple of weeks. Therefore, you can expect a little discomfort and soreness every two weeks or so, when a fresh set of aligners fits snugly on the teeth.

Renowned Invisalign dentists associated with a leading orthodontic practice in London opine if you can fight out the initial difficulties, the rest of the Invisalign journey turns out to be unbelievably smooth and comfortable. It is important to wear the aligners at least 20 to 22 hours a day for timely and desired results.

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