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Will I Still Have to Wear a Retainer After Invisalign?

Orthodontic treatment works to move your teeth into a different position–one that is more attractive, more comfortable, and more appropriate for the shape of your mouth and for your individual teeth. After they are moved, teeth will always try to shift back into their original position. For this reason, it is important to use a retainer after any kind of orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign

How Invisalign Works

For many years, the practice of orthodontics has depended upon metal braces, which are affixed to the teeth and attached to each other by means of bands. These bands pull the teeth gradually into position. This approach works well, but the braces are not removable for the duration of the treatment, and can be uncomfortable as well as unattractive.

Invisalign also works to move the teeth into the proper position, but instead of metal braces, this system uses clear plastic trays custom made to fit your mouth. Each tray is slightly different, representing a minor movement of your teeth. About every two weeks, you will switch to a new tray, which will continue to gradually shift your teeth, until they are finally in the desired position.

Why the Retainer is Important

Once treatment with Invisalign is complete, the teeth will be in the desired position; however, there is the tendency for them to move back into their original position. A retainer holds the teeth in place, ensuring that the results of the Invisalign treatment remain intact.

Many people simply use the last tray in the Invisalign sequence as a retainer, since it represents the ideal placement of your teeth. Your dentist might recommend that you wear it regularly for a few months after treatment is completed, then only at night. The type of retainer as well as the amount of time you should wear it depend upon how far your teeth were moved. To be sure you wear your retainer appropriately and maintain that new, perfect smile for life, be sure to follow your dentist’s guidelines.

Our practice specializing in orthodontics in Plano can help you decide if Invisalign is right for you. Call and schedule a consultation to see how Invisalign can transform your smile.

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