Retainer advice after Invisalign

If you have finished with your orthodontic treatment and are wearing retainers (or will be soon), this is a special place to connect with others in your (enviable) situation. Ask a question or make a comment about life post-braces.

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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:11 pm

Retainer advice after Invisalign

#1 Post by HelenF »

Hi, this is my first post on here.

I want some advice please on Invisalign and retainers after Invisalign.

I had 42 Invisalign aligners over 16 months. I was happy with the result and got given clear retainers and told to wear them only at nighttime. I then went back after 3 months for a checkup and was told (and shown) my teeth had moved back fairly significantly. I was really shocked as I (naively) thought as I'd followed their advice with wearing the retainers at night, then everything would be fine. My orthodontist was very surprised my teeth had started to move back, and said it was very unusual for his to happen. The nighttime retainers never felt tight on me so they slipped on easily each night and never hurt. So possibly they were made too loose in the first place?

My orthodontist has set me off on another round of Invisalign, free of charge, to straighten my teeth again. I was given 7 aligners this time and told to change them weekly. I have to admit ... when aligners number 1 felt loose, I changed straight to number 2.. and so on every few days - so I have rushed through 7 lots of aligners in 3 weeks!! I'm worried my orthodontist will be cross with me but the aligners didn't feel tight at all like my first round of treatment, and I'm SO ready for this to all end now. I'm going back next week, wearing number 7 aligners and I'm going to ask for the attachments to be removed and to discuss better, more successful retention options.

So my questions are -

1. Do you think me rushing through 7 weeks of aligners in 3 weeks will affect how my orthodontist treats me going forward? I've not followed his advice this time but like I say, they early aligners didn't feel at all tight at all.

2. Would fixed bonded retainers plus clear plastic retainers be more successful? Can they be combined successfully?

3. How long are people generally advised to wear retainers for eg 24/7 for 3 months or more?

4. How can I ensure the second lot of clear retainers they make for me are tight enough? They made them from moulds first time around but they were obviously too loose as they didn't feel tight when I put them in despite my teeth having moved.

Sorry for the long post... thanks in advance for your help!

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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:05 am
Location: UK

Re: Retainer advice after Invisalign

#2 Post by jem »

1 teeth can be pretty loose during/after orthodontic treatment, so it is possibly not surprising that your teeth have moved back into line so quickly. If you had done this at the start of your invisalign treatment I imagine your ortho would be pretty concerned. But will probably be less concerned at your quick re-alignment after quick relapse.

2 Yes many people including me have both fixed and removable retainers. If you are particularly prone to relapse I think it is a good idea.

3 Retainer wear advice given by orthos varies enormously.Stick with the advice you are given but probably no harm in wearing your retainers longer per day than advised. It seems to me that a solid period of 24/7 wear can only be a good thing. Many orthos including mine then advise wearing retainers at night -either every night or at least some nights per week- for as long as you want your teeth to remain straight.

4 Your clear retainers should be very tight at first-difficult to remove. If they are not you should question your ortho. I understand that invisalign offer "vivera" retainers which are supposed to be very good if expensive. I have no personal experience of them.

Good luck and be diligent with your retention- you have put a lot of effort and money into your treatment.

Sectional brace with Damon clear brackets fitted to front 6 upper teeth 3 January 2012
Brackets added to premolars 2 April 2012
Estimated treatment time originally 6-9 months
. Brace removed on 22 July 2013 after 18 months and 19 days
Now enjoying bonded upper retainer plus part time essix/hawley( I have both)

Click here for my story ... =9&t=42194

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