Tag Archives: retainers after Invisalign

Retainer After Invisalign Treatment

I am on my last pair of aligners for Invisalign. An opportunity I cannot pass up has been offered to me, but it will require me moving in the next week to another state. As you can imagine, I have a LOT to take care of between now and then. Fortunately, my new company is paying for my move and a temporary home until I find something. However, I still have to figure out what to do about my Invisalign. I don’t know if I will need to find another Invisalign dentist when I move or not. My dentist mentioned that I will need to wear a retainer after my treatment is done. I don’t know if that is like a regular retainer or if Invisalign does something different. Can you give me some guidance here?


Dear Belinda,

Invisalign aligner


Congratulations on the new job! It sounds like you have exciting things ahead of you. If you were in the middle of your Invisalign treatment, I would say that you would need to find another Invisalign certified dentist to continue your treatment.

You are on your last pair of aligners, so unless there have been some complicating factors  that you have not mentioned, then I see no need for you to have to find another Invisalign dentist.

Retainers are something just about any dentist can do. Plus, your current dentist is ethically obligated to send them all of your diagnostics and treatment records, including his notes.

Using Your Invisalign Aligner as a Retainer

You may not even need to do that, though. It sounds like you are going to be very busy so I want you to focus on getting your new life and home set up and not have to squeeze getting fit for a retainer in for that. You can actually use your final aligners as your retainer. Here is how:

  1. Start by wearing them all the time for a month.
  2. Then wear them only at night for one to two months.
  3. Try every other night, testing for movement.

Here is how you test for movement:

If you find it a bit more challenging to put the aligner in after you went to the next stage, that means that the teeth shifted some. Go back to the previous stage for another month or two and then test it again.

4. If every other night works, do that for a couple of months.
5. Try every 3 nights. After each new stage, test for movement.
6. Go to once per week.
7. Try not wearing them at all.

Keep your aligners around even after this for two reasons. First, you can periodically check for shifting of your teeth and use them as needed. Second, the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. If your dentist offers teeth whitening, they can provide you with the whitening gel and you can wear them without having to have custom trays made, which will save you money.

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

Must I Wear a Retainer After Invisalign?

I’m getting my teeth straightened. Yay! My parents never had the money before but dad’s new job is waaaay better. Because I’m in high school my parents are getting me Invisalign. I’m super excited about having invisible braces but wondered if I’ll have to wear a retainer afterward. That won’t be invisible too, will it?

Lacey B.

Dear Lacey,

Image top: A woman putting on her Invisalign aligners. Image bottom: a woman smiling with Invisalign on her teeth

Congratulations on getting Invisalign. It has a very high patient satisfaction rate. I think you’ll love them, not to mention how much you’ll love having straight teeth. After any orthodontic treatment, it’s common to wear a retainer for several months to a year. This helps to keep your teeth in their proper position. It used to be the only option you had in a retainer were¬†the metal bars. That’s no longer the case.

Retainer Options After Invisalignwa

  • Traditional metal bar retainers.
  • Lingual retainers. These are metal retainers that fit behind your teeth where no one can see them.
  • Retainers with clear aligners, like Invisalign

The key is letting your dentist know ahead of time that you want options for your retainer. Tell him you’re hoping to have discreet treatment, such as you had with your Invisalign.

It’s also a good idea to talk to your parents about it too, hopefully ahead of time, so they’re not blindsided at your appointment. They’ll likely be grateful you’re already taking the initiative and are doing the research ahead of time.

Compliance with Invisalign

It used to be that Invisalign was only for adults. The fear with teens is that they would lose the aligners or wouldn’t remember to keep them in the prescribed amount of time. While Invisalign is an incredible treatment and will likely work faster for you than traditional braces, they only work if you keep them in the right amount of time.

You sound like a very responsible teenager, so I don’t think that will be an issue for you.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone. Check out his smile gallery.