close womans hand holding invisalign braces

Everything You Need to Know About Wearing an Invisalign Retainer

Invisalign has become a popular treatment to straighten and align teeth. They’re also many people’s preferred choice over braces.

However, not everyone knows what Invisalign treatment entails, including how Invisalign retainers work. If you’re considering Invisalign but need more information, you’ve come to the right place.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about wearing Invisalign retainers, including how long you may need to wear them and how to take care of them. Ultimately, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether Invisalign is right for you.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment system that corrects and straightens crowded or crooked teeth.

Invisalign works by providing you with clear, removable retainers that are customized to fit your mouth. These aligners cause your teeth to shift into alignment. While you may sometimes feel discomfort – especially at first – wearing the retainers and shifting your teeth is painless.

You’ll need to get new removable retainers every few weeks, depending on your length of treatment and how robust of an aligner treatment you’ll need. Each new retainer applies a different amount of force onto your teeth to advance your treatment. By the end of your aligner treatment, your teeth should be straight.

Let’s take a look at who can get Invisalign aligners for teeth straightening.

Who Can Get Invisalign?

The criteria for Invisalign are relatively open. The treatment works for various people with different dental problems or circumstances. Even if you’ve already had braces, you may still get Invisalign to touch up your teeth.

However, Invisalign retainers can only do so much. Invisalign can only fix teeth that are at a certain severity. Your orthodontist will let you know if you need more orthodontic work than Invisalign can provide and may recommend another treatment, such as traditional braces.

So far, Invisalign retainers sound simple enough. But many people have questions about when exactly you wear these retainers. Let’s take a look.

young smiling man holding invisalign braces

When Do You Wear Invisalign Retainers?

Invisalign treatment requires you to wear your custom retainers throughout the day and while you’re asleep. In general, you’re expected to wear your Invisalign retainers for 20-22 hours per day for the treatment to work.

The only times you should be removing your Invisalign retainers is when you eat and clean them. When you remove your retainers for eating, cleaning them before putting them back in your mouth is essential.

Let’s take a look at how you clean Invisalign aligners.

How Do You Clean Invisalign Retainers?

The key to maintaining your Invisalign retainers and oral health is to clean each Invisalign tray when you take them out and before putting them back into your mouth. This requires rinsing them whenever you remove them to eat or for any other reason. Moreover, to avoid stains, remove your aligners whenever you eat or drink anything that isn’t water.

That said, rinsing may not always be enough to clean your retainers thoroughly. Bacteria can quickly build up on your retainers, and food can get stuck in them.

To get rid of as many leftover food particles and bacteria from your aligners as possible, clean them every day with a toothbrush, soap, and water. Doing this will also minimize the risk of introducing harmful bacteria to your teeth and gums that can cause tooth decay or cavities.

Now that you know how to clean your Invisalign retainers, let’s discuss how long Invisalign lasts.

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

The length of your Invisalign treatment depends on various factors, including:

  • The position of your teeth: Whether you have an overbite, underbite, or other spaces in your teeth and where they are can significantly affect your treatment.
  • Your age: Your age affects how easy your teeth are to align. The older you are, the more difficult it will be.
  • How well you stick to your treatment: If you don’t wear your aligners when needed, your treatment may be longer.
  • Whether you’ve had traditional metal braces before, If your teeth are only slightly unaligned, you may require a shorter treatment.

Most people generally have Invisalign retainers for anywhere from 6 to 18 months. For any treatment that is longer than 24 months, your orthodontist may recommend traditional metal braces instead, as they may be able to apply more pressure and result in shorter treatment.

woman front mirror bathroom holding invisible

Tips for Taking Care of Your Invisalign Retainers

Here are a few additional tips for taking care of your Invisalign retainers and ensuring that your treatment goes smoothly:

  • Always keep your Invisalign retainers in their protective tray when not in use. Never leave them out in the open, exposing them to harmful bacteria.
  • Make sure to use a different soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your aligners than the one you use to brush your teeth. You don’t want any cross-contamination of bacteria to occur.
  • Sometimes you need a deeper clean and stain removal. Try to use Invisalign cleaning crystals once a week. Mix with water, soak your retainers for 20 minutes, and rinse.

Wrap-Up: Choose Invisalign Retainer for Perfect Teeth

Invisalign retainers are a great, less invasive alternative to braces that can give you the smile you’ve already dreamt of. However, for the treatment to work, you need to actually wear your retainers when required and take care of them when they are not in your mouth.

For more information on Invisalign in the Belleville and Trenton, ON, area, contact You Make Me Smile to book your consultation today.