When you’re coming to the end of your Invisalign treatment, you might be wondering how to maintain your stunning smile. Retainers are an important part of your orthodontic treatment.
If you don’t wear retainers at night, your teeth will start moving back towards their original position. Retainers help maintain the new positioning to prevent relapse and re-treatment costs. We recommend Vivera aligners as they offer a natural treatment progression for Invisalign patients.
Do retainers really work?
Some retainers work better than others. The type and quality of the retainers you choose will determine how effective they are at keeping your teeth in alignment.
A good retainer should be comfortable to wear, easy to clean, durable (won’t break or bend), and allow you to sleep without. If you find your retainers uncomfortable, there’s a good chance you’ll avoid wearing them.
You need to wear the retainer for it to work, so a fixed retainer might make more sense for you if you are forgetful. What works for one person might not work for another, so always discuss options with your orthodontist to make sure you get the treatment you need.
Types of retainers after Invisalign
Vivera retainers are an excellent option for Invisalign patients as they are similar to the aligners you are used to wearing. They are stronger and thicker than Invisalign aligners, so they are slightly more noticeable. But since they are only worn at night time, this shouldn’t be an issue. These will wear down over time and will need to be replaced.
A Hawley retainer has metal wires attached to an acrylic or plastic plate that fits in the roof of your mouth. These are incredibly durable and can be replaced if they break. However, this type of aligner might make it more difficult to speak while you’re wearing them.
And finally, fixed lingual retainers are attached to your teeth permanently. Small brackets and wires are hidden on the back of your teeth to hold your teeth in the correct position. You wear this all the time and don’t need to remove it.
Do you have to wear a retainer forever?
You will have to wear your retainer for as long as you want to maintain the results. However, since you are committing to wearing retainers for life, you should consider the potential cost of each retainer type. Taking good care of your retainer can help keep costs down, but accidents can happen and losing your retainer is not uncommon.
Vivera retainers last around nine months for nighttime wear, but a Hawley retainer can last for 10 years with the right care. Likewise, a fixed retainer will last a few years with the proper care.
How to choose the right aligner for your needs
First, speak to your orthodontists about your options. Your orthodontic plan might include your first set of retainers, so you’ll have a chance to try them and decide what works best for you.
Consider your lifestyle and requirements
Think about your evening routine and if you can commit to putting in a retainer every night. With removable retainers, you will need to remember to clean and wear your retainer every night. If you travel a lot or have an active social life, you might find this impractical.
Some people prefer a removable retainer because they don’t like the idea of a fixed retainer. But, again, this is down to preference.
Make sure you understand the pros and cons
While Vivera retainers are recommended after Invisalign, this isn’t the only option. If you think you would struggle to remember to wear them, ask about a fixed retainer. And if you are concerned about the cost of aligners, you can always choose a Hawley retainer for a durable alternative.
Ask questions about the options available to you so you can make an informed decision.
- How do I care for my retainers?
- How often will I need to replace my retainers?
- When will I need to wear my retainers?
- What happens if I lose my retainers?
At Sloan Dental, we can help you every step of the way in your orthodontic journey. We’ll help you choose the right retainers for your needs.