Invisalign As a Retainer

I am about to get my last two Invisalign retainers and then have to move. My dentist is just giving me the last pair because my treatment has gone well and he doesn’t want me to have to drive three hours for the final exam. Do I need to find an Invisalign dentist or can I just be done after my last pair?


Dear Mason,

Invisalign aligner

Because your treatment has been going to plan, you won’t need to find an Invisalign dentist if you are at the end of your treatment and have the aligners you need. There is a caveat we will get to in a moment. However, for the benefit of those whose treatment has not gone as well, I am going to add what to do in that situation.

Some cases are more complicated because teeth don’t always behave exactly as they are supposed to. When that happens and you need to move, your dentist is legally obligated to provide your new dentist with all the diagnostics, treatment plan, and notes. Especially if you are at the end of your treatment, there should only be a minimal fee.

Now, onto your caveat. After every orthodontic treatment, there is the need for a retainer or our teeth have the habit of going back to misalignment. The good news is you have a couple of great choices for that.

First, you could find a dentist to provide you with a retainer. They’re fairly cheap and won’t take too long. Almost any dentist can do that.

However, an easier option is to just wear your final aligner as a retainer. There is a procedure to follow for that. If you follow these instructions you shouldn’t have any trouble.

First, I’d wear them all the time, except for eating and oral hygiene, for a month. After that, wear them only at night for one to two months, From there, you can go to wearing them every other night. You’ll want to make sure your teeth aren’t shifting when you do that. The way to tell if that is happening is the feeling when you put your aligners back on. If they feel tighter than normal, the teeth have shifted and you should go back to them every night for a few weeks. then try again. Back off a little at a time doing periodic checks for shifting. Once you’re good with every other night, you can try twice a week, then once a week, then not wearing them at all. Again, make sure you are checking periodically for movement.

If you keep your final pair of aligners in good condition, you can also use them as teeth whitening trays. Simply ask your dentist for the gel and you can whiten your teeth at a fraction of the cost.

Best of luck in your move.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.