Will I Need to Wear Retainers After Invisalign® Treatment?

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Invisalign treatment — which uses clear plastic aligners to straighten a crooked smile and address a variety of other orthodontic needs — continues to grow in popularity each year, with more and more patients preferring this discreet, convenient alternative to traditional metal braces. One of the first questions patients often ask about what to expect with Invisalign treatment is whether they'll need to wear retainers like those required after braces. The answer is typically yes, as retainers help to prevent the teeth from shifting back into their original position and allow patients to protect their investment and enjoy their newly straightened smile for as long as possible.

Still, you may have additional questions about how long you'll need to wear your retainers, how often you should wear retainers after Invisalign treatment, and others. Here, Farmingdale, NY Invisalign provider and dentist Dr. Angela Ferrari of Ferrari & Aldieri Dental Associates answers these questions and other Invisalign FAQs to help you better understand what to expect before, during, and after your orthodontic treatment.

How does Invisalign compare to braces?

Many patients are surprised to learn that Invisalign clear aligners can often treat similar concerns and help patients achieve almost identical results as those that may be possible with traditional metal braces — though there are some exceptions, like cases of pronounced crookedness, rotation, bite misalignment, and others. For those patients who do qualify for treatment, some of the most exciting benefits of Invisalign vs. braces include:

  • Aligners can be removed for short periods of time
  • No dietary restrictions
  • More pleasing aesthetically
  • More discreet
  • No poking wires or sharp brackets
  • More comfortable
  • Treatment is often shorter
  • Brushing and overall dental and oral hygiene is easier
  • No risk of staining or discoloration from brackets

Do I still have to wear a retainer after Invisalign treatment?

Although Invisalign aligners are widely considered more comfortable, convenient, and preferable when compared to metal braces, it is important for patients to understand that both treatments are similar in the way they correct crooked teeth — meaning both Invisalign treatment and traditional braces work by gradually shifting the teeth into a straighter position. With this in mind, patients considering Invisalign aligners should plan to require a retainer (or retainers) following Invisalign treatment, just as they would after treatment with braces. Wearing a retainer, as directed by Dr. Ferrari, helps to preserve your newly straightened smile by preventing your teeth from shifting back to their initial position.

How long will I need to wear a retainer after Invisalign aligners?

At the conclusion of your Invisalign treatment, which is usually about 12 months, Dr. Ferrari will provide comprehensive aftercare instructions and guidelines, including how often (and for how long) you'll need to wear your retainer. While this may vary somewhat from patient to patient, most people can expect their retainer instructions after Invisalign treatment to include wearing a retainer as often as possible initially — meaning up to 20 – 22 hours per day for about 6 – 12 months — after which time it may be appropriate to shift to nighttime retainer wear only. Again, how often to wear your retainer after Invisalign treatment will depend on your unique situation, and Dr. Ferrari will provide formal recommendations that are personally tailored to help you achieve and maintain the beautiful smile you deserve.

Get a smile you'll love with Invisalign in Farmingdale, NY

Wish you had a straighter, more beautiful smile but prefer to skip the annoyances of traditional metal braces? If so, take the first step toward getting your dream smile the easy way with Invisalign clear plastic aligners by calling Ferrari & Aldieri Dental Associates to schedule your consultation and exam with Farmingdale, NY dentist Dr. Angela Ferrari today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.