Invisalign clear aligners are fabricated and worn to repair a dental malocclusion. Once teeth are straightened, the best way for the teeth to solidify their new position following orthodontics is to wear a retainer. The purpose of the retainer is to hold teeth in place until they have formed a “memory” of their new, corrected location.
A retainer resembles a mouth guard. A retainer is made to fit your teeth and your new bite. It is intended to prevent your teeth from drifting back to their original position. Failure to wear a retainer following orthodontics may result in years of treatment to be for naught.
Patients seeking teeth straightening will consult with their dentist; photographs, x-rays and dental impressions are taken to allow the Invisalign laboratory to create a series of aligners designed to correct a dental malocclusion. [pullquote]Failure to wear a retainer following orthodontics may result in years of treatment to be for naught.[/pullquote]
Your Invisalign dentist will have worked with the Invisalign laboratory fabricating the series of clear aligners that will be updated every couple of weeks throughout treatment. Each aligner will gently guide teeth to correct your overbite, under bite or cross bite. Depending on the severity of the malocclusion, teeth straightening can be corrected in as little as six months, but some cases will take longer.
The Invisalign patient completes teeth straightening with many advantages:
- Invisalign aligners are clear so treatment is virtually unnoticed.
- Aligners are removable. This allows the patient to eat all the foods they love throughout treatment. And because the aligners can be taken out, patients are able to brush and floss without the encumbrance standard metal braces can place on the daily hygiene routine.
- Without metal bands, brackets, and wires the patient does not suffer from oral abrasions.
Once the aligners have completed their task of straightening teeth, your dentist will advise the patient to wear a retainer. Immediately following treatment completion, the retainer is designed to be worn for up to a year. The patient may be asked to wear the retainer day and night initially. Eventually, the time for wearing will be shortened to perhaps wearing just at night.
If there are concerns that teeth may drift, wearing the retainer may be extended. However long the patient wears the retainer, they will be able to enjoy a lifetime of smiles with teeth straightened and held in place.
Contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan for more information about taking care of your new smile after Invisalign treatment.