For patients with minor tooth alignment issues, Invisalign® offers great treatment results without the hassle of traditional metal brackets. If a patient desires to straighten their teeth, Dr. Pfefferle will schedule a consultation that describes the treatment process and will assess whether or not the patient is a good candidate for Invisalign®. One part of the consultation that patients often do not consider is something that is very important after Invisalign® treatment completion: Retention.
What is retention?
After completing Invisalign® treatment, teeth are susceptible to relapse, or to move back into their original maligned position. This is why Dr. Pfefferle recommends a retainer to help keep teeth from shifting. This retainer is very similar to the Invisalign® trays—it is clear, thin, and unobtrusive. It is designed to be worn at night to help keep teeth from moving back to their old position.
How often do I have to wear a retainer?
It depends. If total Invisalign® treatment time was over 2 years, or if the teeth had a long way to move in order to achieve correct alignment, the retainers may need to be worn 24 hours a day, every day. This helps to “set” the teeth in their final correct position and prevents quick relapse once treatment is completed. Afterward, nighttime only use is recommended.
How long do I have to wear these?
Dr. Pfefferle recommends that these retainers be worn for life. This may surprise some people, however, teeth will move again, and wearing a retainer is one of the best ways to prevent this from happening. Sometimes the movement occurs quickly, in which case it is recommended to wear the retainers nightly. In other cases, the teeth might not be as susceptible to moving and the retainers can be worn every other night or even less often than that.
What happens if I don’t wear a retainer?
Your teeth will begin to shift again if you don’t wear a retainer. The movement might be very small at first, however, over time, a noticeable difference can occur. It is much easier and more economical to wear the retainers than it is to re-treat with Invisalign® again.
When straightening your teeth with an Invisalign® treatment, there is a lot of information that you are going to need. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Pfefferle and she will help answer any questions you have about achieving a healthy, beautiful smile.
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