A Comprehensive Guide To Retainers

Why do patients need retainers after Invisalign® treatment? What are they used for? What makes them so important? These are very common questions that need to be answered for the successful completion of the Invisalign treatment.

Retainers are used to maintain the original position of your teeth once it has been corrected using Invisalign clear aligners. The main purpose of retainers is to ensure your teeth  are well-adjusted and remain in its proper place. It is a crucial part of the straightening procedure. If you've had Invisalign treatment and achieved a stunning smile in the process, the last thing you would want to happen is for your teeth to move back to its incorrect alignment.

It takes some time for the bone and tissues to get accustomed to their new alignment and retainers help contain the naturally-occurring shifting of the teeth.

After the completion of your Invisalign treatment, your orthodontist will explain how long you will need to maintain your retainers. Often, retainers need to be used full-time for a span of 6 months. Afterwards, you will need to wear it only at night. It is imperative that you wear your retainers as religiously as your aligners, if you wish to see any real result.  

You might have heard about permanent retainers and are probably having some nightmares as you're reading this. Don't fear however. Permanent retainers are only recommended for patients who have a high likelihood of relapse after treatment. These bonded retainers are glued to the back of the teeth.  One of its advantages is that they are already fitted in and are not noticeable.

Retainers are not a substitute for aligners. They are cannot effectively close gaps or straighten teeth. It is only designed to maintain bone alignment after more intensive treatments like Invisalign.