After you have completed teeth straightening treatment, you may need to wear Invisalign retainers to ensure all the hard work you have put in lasts for your lifetime. Wearing an Invisalign retainer ensures your teeth do not move back into their original position, empowering you to show off your new smile for years to come. Check out this guide to Invisalign retainers to ensure you can get the most out of your retainers and take proper care steps to help them last.
How Long Does Invisalign Last?
Regardless of the type of retainer you have, they will only last as long as you take care of them. Invisalign retainers tend to last much longer than other types because they have more durable materials and are wear-resistant. Many people can have their Invisalign retainers for as long as a decade. However, habits like grinding your teeth or poor cleaning can reduce their life.
In contrast, other kinds of retainers may only last several years with proper care, and they may break more easily. You may need to seek adjustments over time or need repairs if damages occur, such as if the wires peel off or snap entirely. If you ever experience issues with your retainer, you should immediately seek a new one.
How Long Do You Wear Invisalign?
You should always wear your retainers for the duration your doctor recommends. Typically, you will need to wear them for 20 to 22 hours daily. There are some activities you cannot do with your retainers, such as brushing your teeth or eating, so there will be times when you do not wear them. However, you should make it a habit to wear them as often as possible while performing other activities and sleeping.
Retainers apply pressure to your teeth to ensure they do not shift to their original position, so keeping them in for the appropriate amount of time is key to improving your smile. Otherwise, you could reverse months or years of work and spend much more money trying to correct an issue you could have prevented.
You may need to attend additional treatment appointments and extend the amount of time you need to wear retainers by forgetting to put them in or neglecting them at certain times. Your retainers will only benefit you when you use them, so get the most out of your time and money by wearing them whenever possible.
Different Invisalign Treatment Plan Lengths
Everyone has different dental needs, and a variety of treatment plans are available to ensure you can address the specific issues you are facing. The Invisalign treatment process can look different for everyone, and your treatment plan length can vary depending on the treatment you need.
Your Invisalign treatment plan will begin with a consultation with a trained doctor. Throughout this process, you will access a custom plan highlighting the step-by-step transformation your smile needs. After plan approval, you will receive the custom aligners you will need to wear every day. The following outline represents the most common Invisalign treatment schedule:
- Daily: You will wear your Invisalign every day for 20 to 22 hours each day to get the best results. Though you will not wear your retainer while eating, drinking, brushing or flossing, you should keep them in at all other times of the day. You may take them out for brief periods, such as for a job interview or playing a special instrument, but you should replace them as soon as you finish with that activity.
- Weekly: You will confer with your doctor to determine the best schedule for changing your Invisalign aligners. Generally, you will exchange the retainers with new ones every one to two weeks. Each new pair of Invisalign aligners you receive will gently shift your teeth according to your treatment plan. While you may experience some brief, minor discomfort as you transition to a new aligner, this pain is often significantly less than with traditional braces.
- Monthly and yearly: After your first month of treatment, you will likely notice a change in your teeth. When your doctor creates your treatment plan, they will determine the total length of time you will need to wear your Invisalign retainer. You will also likely come in for regular appointments to check in on your progress and see if any changes need to be made to your treatment plan. You could finish your treatment in as little as six months to one year, though the treatment length is entirely dependent on your unique dental needs.
You can contact 172 NYC Dental to discover the best treatment plan for your teeth. We are a top Invisalign provider in New York City, so you can trust us to deliver a customized plan for your teeth.
How to Care for Invisalign Retainers?
Proper maintenance is the best way to get the longest life from your retainers. Knowing how to clean Invisalign, how often you should change your Invisalign trays and other maintenance information can help you get the most from your retainers. Check out these care tips for your Invisalign:
- Rinse daily: Plaque and bacteria can quickly build in your retainers because you wear them so long daily. Make a routine of rinsing your retainers every time you brush your teeth. Antibacterial soap and water are suitable, but avoid colored soap to prevent staining.
- Brush and floss after eating: Brushing and flossing after every meal is an excellent way to keep your Invisalign clean while staying on top of oral hygiene. Doing so will prevent decay and cavities.
- Use an Invisalign cleaner: You can find specific Invisalign cleaners for your retainers. Make a habit of soaking your retainer in the solution for about 15 minutes. To avoid keeping them out for too long, try to soak them while you do other activities like brushing your teeth or eating.
- Store them safely: Although Invisalign retainers are durable, you can still damage or break them. Be sure to store them safely when you eat rather than leaving them on the table. Your retainers can quickly gather bacteria in the open air, so be sure to use your case. Additionally, never put them in a location where you may forget them, like a restaurant table or cafeteria tray.
Schedule a Consultation With 172 NYC Dental
172 NYC Dental is a top Invisalign provider. Our mission is to deliver a unique dental experience for every patient. Our friendly staff and exceptional customer service set us apart from other dental offices, and we are ready to help you achieve your dream smile. Reach out to book a consultation to see if Invisalign retainers are right for you.