Life After Orthodontics: Living With Retainers

It’s been a long journey with your Invisalign system, months of wearing the clear aligners and feeling and seeing your teeth slowly move into position millimeter by grueling millimeter. For 22 hours a day you’ve worn your Invisalign system to make sure that you can finally have that gorgeous smile you’ve always dreamed of, but the day has finally come. Your teeth are straight, and beautiful, and exactly where you wanted them to be! So now what?

Entering The Retention Phase
Now that you’ve finished the grueling part of the process, you’re going to be working to maintain your smile a while longer yet. Throughout the process, your teeth have gradually moved into their final position, and through it, all everything from your gums to the bones of your jaw have slowly been going through a remodeling process to become comfortable with where your teeth now sit. This process isn’t quick, unfortunately, and if you just go back to wearing no aligners at all, it’ll happen faster rather than slower.

How Long Will I Be Wearing The Retainer?
During the retention phase, you’ll be wearing a special form of retainer that will help hold your teeth in place while your gums, ligaments, and bones finish the healing process that will put them there permanently. In most cases, you’ll be wearing this retainer nightly for the rest of your life, though in some cases your dentist may inform you you can go down to just a few nights a week. You will, however, be wearing retainers for the rest of your life, at least some of the time.

What About My Last Invisalign Aligner, Won’t It Work?
This sounds like a logical conclusion to jump to, but it won’t actually work out that way for you. Over time the materials that the aligners are made from will break down, resulting in them not putting the necessary pressure on your teeth to hold their position. This is why it’s essential to get a special retainer and to have it replaced relatively regularly. Two types of retainer are commonly available, each with their benefits. The first is a fixed retainer, a thin metal wire that’s adhered to the back of your teeth to ensure they retain their position. Regular cleaning and care will ensure they endure for years, but you’ll want to check in with your dentist regularly. Removable retainers are very much like Invisalign aligners but are specifically designed to help your teeth hold their final position.

We know you were hoping to be rid of those aligners forever, but if you want to keep that beautiful smile you’ve worked so hard for it’s going to require constant maintenance. If you’re looking for a professional to help you get started on your Invisalign journey; pick up the phone and contact Amanda Rae Kronquist at Sunset Dental Group and make an appointment today. The people of the Santa Ana, CA area have been relying on the expertise of the team at Sunset Dental for years, and your family can too.

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