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How Long Should I Wear My Retainer After Invisalign?

July 14, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drstandrabik @ 3:03 pm
Woman putting clear aligner on top row of smile

If you’ve just completed your Invisalign journey, congratulations! While you may not want to be tied to a retainer for the rest of your life, there’s a reason retainers are given to orthodontic patients to this day: they work. Thankfully, retainers are now more comfortable and discreet than ever – they’ll be as invisible as your clear aligners. Here’s how long you should wear your retainer after Invisalign.

The Importance of Wearing Your Retainer

Many patients undergo orthodontic treatment to achieve their desired results but then neglect to follow proper Invisalign aftercare instructions, like wearing their retainer for the required amount of time. So, it’s not surprising that upwards of 50% of patients have experienced orthodontic relapse. This is the phenomenon where teeth begin to drift back to their previously misaligned position. Orthodontic relapse can happen months or even years after finishing treatment, hence why orthodontists nowadays recommend wearing retainers to be a lifelong practice.

Since this can happen at any time, it’s not unusual for a person to wear braces in adolescence and have to go through orthodontic treatment again later in life. As such, it’s important to follow your orthodontist’s directions to preserve results and protect your smile.

Some patients only wear their retainers at night, and others keep them on around the clock; it varies depending on your exact needs. Your orthodontist is the best source of information on how to care for your specific case, so take their advice on how many hours a day you need to wear your retainer.

How to Protect Your Retainer from Damage

The best way to prolong the life of your retainer is to routinely clean it. Clean the wire of your fixed retainers while brushing your teeth. Removable retainers should be taken off and cleaned at least twice a day with plain warm or soapy water and a toothbrush. Don’t use toothpaste on your retainer, as it’s too abrasive. Once in a while, use a retainer cleansing solution for a deep clean.

Here are some additional tips on how to care for your retainer:

  • If you remove your retainers to eat or drink, you need to clean your teeth before putting them back on.
  • Store your retainer in a safe and clean place, preferably in its designated container or a glass of water. It’s important you know where it is.
  • Remove your retainers before consuming foods or drinks.
  • Wear a mouthguard over or take off your retainer before participating in physical activities.

Even if it is a nuisance at first, dutifully wearing your Invisalign retainers after treatment ensures you are making the most of the time and money you have invested for beautiful results. In the long run, it’s well worth it. 

About the Practice

Drabik Orthodontics is under the capable leadership of orthodontists Dr. Drabik and Dr. Peres. The practice recognizes orthodontic treatment can be a big journey at any age and is ready to walk with you every step of the way. The team provides patients with custom-made retainers designed to maintain treatment results for a lifetime. If you want to know more about how retainers can help you preserve your results, contact Drabik Orthodontics at their website or by phone at one of their 2 convenient locations.

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