You did a great job helping Dr. McCoy align your teeth. Enjoy your new smile!
Let’s talk about your retainers.Dr. Kevin McCoy‘s explanation below will help you determine how much you need to wear retainers and for how long.
For our Invisalign patients, we deliver four passive aligners that you will be using as your retainers only if you lose or break your last active aligner.
You are not to change these aligner retainers weekly like you did with your active aligners. This is the single, most important thing to remember!
You should stay in your last aligner and only use these four additional passive retainer aligners if you lose or misplace your last active aligner.
The four passive aligner retainers are simply multiple copies of that last aligner, so there is no need to change into them unless you lose your last aligner or it becomes unsightly.
Wear your last active aligner as a retainer at all times during the day and night, but remove them when brushing your teeth or eating.
If you clench or grind your teeth at night, do not wear your retainers while sleeping since your bite may change or you may damage your retainers and need replacements or a different retainer type. So, if you find your aligner breaking, try going only to daytime wear.
Clean your retainer by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You can occasionally use denture cleaner with warm (not hot) water.
Do not try to sterilize your retainers by boiling them or microwaving them – they will melt! Similarly, do not leave your retainers in your car’s glove compartment on hot days.
When not in your mouth, your retainers should be placed in the special box given to you at the beginning of your treatment. DO NOT wrap the retainers in a napkin or put them in your pocket. It is too easy to throw them away or break them.
Keep your retainers away from pets; they smell food on them and will chew them into tiny pieces.
While the cost of the first set of these four retainers is included in your orthodontic treatment, any replacements are not. This includes if your grinding habit necessitates making new retainers made from a different material. Likewise, there would be a charge for replacing retainers if you mistakenly change them weekly and discard the copies that you wore.
Remember, these are not active aligners to be changed weekly. They are your retainers and are meant for long term use, not weekly changes. Only change to another aligner retainer if you lose or break your current retainer.
Retainers don’t last a lifetime, but you really should invest in long term retainer wear and replacement over the years to keep your teeth straight. Teeth will always want to move. That can only be controlled with retainers.
So, if you need more retainers beyond what we have provided, we will be happy to help you keep your teeth straight long term with some additional retainers down the road and discuss these longer term options available for purchase.
If you wear your retainers every day as instructed, your teeth will stay straight.
If you skip some time wearing your retainers and they feel tight when you place them back in, that means that you shouldn’t skip that much time without wearing your retainers.
If your retainers are not tight when you place them back in, then you are okay to continue wearing your retainers on a part time basis. This will be how you learn how much you can safely cut back on the amount of retainer wear that you need.
Everyone is different. Some people can cut back on retainer wear sooner than others and only you can figure out how much you need to wear your retainers to keep your teeth straight.
You can always contact us if you have any questions.
Enjoy your new smile!
Dr. McCoy and staff