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3 Reasons Retainers are Worn After Invisalign

July 22, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — grandnaperville @ 11:42 pm
Smiling girl holding up an orthodontic retainer

While Invisalign is normally worn for about 12 to 18 months, patients will have to wear an orthodontic appliance even after the initial treatment is complete. This appliance is known as a retainer, and it is an essential part of the orthodontic process. Some patients may be less vigilant about wearing their retainers than their Invisalign aligners. Not adhering to the orthodontist’s instructions could have adverse long-term consequences. Here are the top 3 reasons for wearing an retainer after Invisalign treatment is complete.

1. A Relapse Can Occur if a Retainer is Not Worn

In orthodontics, a relapse refers to the teeth reverting to their original position after treatment. This is because the teeth are not yet fixed in place, so the ligaments connecting them to the jaw will start to pull them back to where they were before. A relapse is more likely in some cases than others depending on the complexity of the changes made and the patient’s circumstances. Of course, a retainer will be provided immediately after the initial treatment is complete in all cases.  

2. Wearing a Retainer is Cost-Effective

If the teeth relapse, additional orthodontic treatments may be needed to move them back to their desired positions. Such additional treatments will naturally involve additional costs. While an orthodontic retainer does cost money, it is far less expensive than paying for a new orthodontic treatment! Wearing a retainer can ultimately help a patient save money and avoid the inconvenience of further orthodontic procedures.

3. Wearing a Retainer Keeps the Teeth Straight for Life

Even after Invisalign, there is still a chance that the alignment of the teeth will change again in the future. This is because as time passes by, the jaw changes shape, becoming slightly narrower. As a result, there will be less space for the teeth, increasing the chance that they will overlap. The continuous pressure that the tongue and lips place on the teeth also increases the risk that new alignment problems could occur in the future. If a retainer is worn, however, the teeth will be more likely to retain their new positions even as the mouth changes.  Sometimes, permanent retainers are bonded behind the teeth to assure alignment over time.

Regardless of whether the retainer is fixed or removable, patients should carefully follow the aftercare instructions that they have been given; ensuring the final stages of the orthodontic process are completed without the risk of a relapse. It is important to get in touch with the orthodontist immediately if there are any questions or concerns about wearing the retainer.

About the Practice

At Grand Dental – Naperville, our dental experts combine their skills to provide patients with comprehensive, individualized care. We offer Invisalign as an orthodontic option for anyone that wants to correct a mild to moderate case of crooked teeth, and we are more than happy to include retainers as part of the process. To schedule an Invisalign consultation with us, visit our website or call (630) 904-1000.