Invisalign Retainers Explained
Invisalign retainers keep your teeth straight! Without a retainer, teeth shift from their new straight places. We offer our patient three types of Invisalign retainers. We include the cost of the initial retainer in our Invisalign treatment fee. Patients may purchase replacements or duplicates separately. Keep reading to find out about the types of retainers and their pros and cons. Read our retainer care guide and learn how to use it to keep your teeth straight & beautiful after Invisalign.
The Three Types of Retainers
- Clear Plastic Retainers
- Hawley Retainers
- Lingual Retainers
Clear Plastic Retainers
Clear Plastic Invisalign retainers look like Invisalign trays. We make them from molds of your straightened teeth. Patients love these comfortable, removable retainers because they can wear them day or night. Remember that the effectiveness of a removable retainer depends on wearing it. These retainers clean easily and allow you to clean your teeth like normal. Like any removable retainer, they get lost or damaged more easily than a bonded retainer. However, because we make them in-office, we can remake them much more quickly than retainer that get sent out to a dental lab. Patients and dentists alike consider clear plastic retainers a great option.
Hawley Invisalign retainers get sent to the dental lab to be made from acrylic and metal wire. These durable, effective retainers feel comfortable and easy to wear. Being removable, they clean easily and allow you to clean your teeth like normal. Remember that the effectiveness of a removable retainer depends on wearing it. Many patients choose this option. Cons include being more difficult and costly to replace if lost or damaged.
We make lingual bar Invisalign retainers from metal orthodontic wire. We bond this wire to the tongue side of your teeth to hold the teeth in place. These small but mighty retainers hold teeth in place very well because they never leave the mouth.
Surprisingly, dentists don’t always love them. Why? Because patients find them harder to clean and this raises the risk of gum disease and cavities. These retainers must be kept clean with regular brushing and flossing to keep teeth stay straight AND healthy! In addition, patients must be committed to getting professional cleanings every 4-6 months to remove built-up food, tartar and plaque that cause cavities and gum disease.
Furthermore, patients also get irritated with lingual retainers because chewing sometimes knocks them loose. When that happens, they need re-bonding. Re-bonding involves a visit to the dentist and the cost of the re-bonding service. These retainers keep teeth straight, but you must be ready to keep them clean and bonded in place!
Watch to see how we make a clear plastic Invisalign retainer:
Invisalign Retainer Care Instructions
Caring for your Invisalign retainer requires two things: keeping it clean and keeping it from getting damaged. Follow the care guidelines below for any removable retainer.
- Always brush your retainer with water when you remove it.
- If you notice it starting to smell, brush it with a small amount mouthwash or dish soap and rinse thoroughly. You may also soak it in water with a denture cleaner tab for several hours to freshen it up.
- Keep your retainer away from pets, heat and abrasives.
- Always store it in its case. Loose retainers in pockets, purses or cupholders tend to end up lost or broken.
- Bring your retainer to every dental cleaning appointment for inspection and professional cleaning.
Invisalign Wearing Instructions
Your dentist will give your personalized Invisalign retainer wearing instructions when you finish Invisalign. Generally speaking, most patients need to wear their retainer every night while sleeping in order to keep their teeth straight. However, you will always get the best results following the guidelines your dentist gave you personally.
Do You Need a New Retainer?
If you need a new Invisalign Retainer, call today to schedule your consultation. Making a retainer starts with a consultation so that you can figure out with the doctor which kind of retainer you need. We don’t ever assume that we know what fits your lifestyle the best.