You’ve grown accustomed to the Invisalign process. You’ve spent week after week introducing tighter Invisalign aligners to your mouth. As you near the end of this orthodontic treatment process, you might wonder what comes next. After Invisalign treatment, are there steps you need to take—either at home or your dentist’s office—to ensure your smile remains as straight as possible?
Luckily, the bulk of treatment for Invisalign patients happens while you wear and switch out aligners. However, a few things ensure the treatment’s success, even after you stop wearing aligners.
Here is what to expect after your Invisalign treatment ends.
Do I Need a Retainer After Invisalign Treatment?
Going through Invisalign treatment means you’ll spend at least five or six months wearing a series of clear aligners. Over time, these aligners straighten your teeth in small increments.
When you’ve reached your last Invisalign tray and your dentist feels you’ve reached the desired results, you’ll likely feel ready for a break from retainers.
However, most dentists recommend that you wear a retainer, like the Vivera retainer created by Invisalign, after treatment. These Invisalign retainers are clear plastic and come in sets of three. Patients wear these retainers in a series throughout a retention phase. Your dentist will direct you to gradually reduce your usage of these Invisalign retainers over time.
There are other types of retainers that orthodontists might also recommend, including permanent wire retainers affixed behind your top or bottom row of teeth.
Invisalign retainers are passive orthodontic devices in that they don’t move your teeth but keep them in place. Wearing an Invisalign retainer ensures that the bones beneath your new, straight teeth fully develop and harden in your gums. This keeps them in place after your teeth shift into their desired position.
How Long Do I Have to Wear a Retainer?
All Invisalign patients are different. Consult your orthodontist about how long you’ll have to wear Invisalign retainers after treatment.
Some patients can wear a retainer like the Vivera retainers for six months or so. Others need to wear clear retainers longer, or your dentist might recommend putting a permanent retainer in.
If you choose to wear removable retainers post-Invisalign treatment, continue to wear a retainer regularly for the long term. This prevents potential movement in your teeth so the results of your treatment last a lifetime.
If you choose fixed retainers instead of removable ones, you will likely wear them for a very long time, potentially for years.
What Can I Expect After Invisalign Braces?
After treatment, you will have a beautiful smile. But that smile needs protection. Your teeth might feel tender, fragile, or possibly even loose.
This is why most Invisalign patients wear retainers after finishing their aligners. Retainers prevent teeth from shifting back into their pretreatment position.
Teeth shift into their original positions after Invisalign treatment is over for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the bones under your teeth have not hardened or strengthened. Alternatively, they can move as a result of things like jaw clenching, teeth grinding and more.
While temporary retainers work and are usually okay with our dentists, some patients want to have a permanent wire retainer affixed to their teeth to protect their new smiles.
At first, patients wear temporary retainers just like they wore Invisalign aligners. Over time, patients wear them less frequently.
A fixed retainer stays in your mouth and is not removable. A metal wire retainer can have many benefits, but it can also pose the risk of tooth decay because you cannot access the teeth directly behind them, and, thus, cannot clean them while brushing. Dentists recommend doing your best to get behind the retainer with a soft toothbrush.
If you choose to wear a fixed retainer after finishing your Invisalign trays, it is essential to pay attention to good oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay or gum disease.
Do I Need to Visit the Dentist After My Invisalign Treatment Is Complete?
Yes! You must visit your dentist’s office when you’ve finished your last Invisalign aligner. Schedule an appointment with your general dentist and not your orthodontist.
Your dentist can give you a thorough cleaning, which is important after you’ve spent months wearing aligners. Many dentists offer whitening treatments for patients in the case that the Invisalign brackets left their teeth stained.
Visiting the dentist regularly is also important if you decide to wear a permanent retainer. Many patients continue regular, routine visits to their dentist as long as they wear retainers. This protects your teeth and gums in the long run.
After your treatment is complete, your dentist will be thrilled not only with your beautiful smile but also at the ease with which they can clean your teeth—it is much easier to clean straight teeth than it is for them to work on misaligned teeth.
CTA: Book a Consultation to Begin Invisalign Today
At Mosman Fine Dental, we are Invisalign experts. Before you start, we will walk you through the entire Invisalign process from start to finish. We will also explain how you can care for your mouth after your Invisalign treatment is over. We know how to make sure you have a healthy smile for the long term.
Contact us when you are ready to take a step towards straighter teeth, improved oral health and reduced anxiety around your smile. Book a time to speak to our team of dentists about Invisalign.
We’ll go over a potential treatment plan, discuss a timeline and offer a general quote for your treatment, then help you get started on the path to a happier, smilier, more confident you.
Are you ready to get started?