I am on my last pair of Invisalign aligners and have relocated to another city. It just occurred to me that I will probably need some type of retainer. Do I need to find another Invisalign dentist or can I just wear my last pair of aligners for a while longer?
You won’t need to find a new Invisalign dentist. However, while you can use your last pair of aligners as a retainer, just wearing them longer isn’t the way to go. You need to do it strategically so that you can wean off the aligners. Otherwise, your teeth will just start to shift again as soon as you stop wearing them.
Here is a plan I recommend:
Wear them for a couple of extra weeks, then only at night for at least a month. you’d likely be better off with two months.
Try wearing them every other night, but make sure you are keeping an eye on whether or not the teeth are shifting. If they have shifted, you’ll be able to tell because it will get a tiny bit harder to put the aligners on in the morning. If that happens, go back to wearing them every night for a couple more weeks and then try again. Once you are able to go to every other night, do so for a month or two.
At this point, you can try wearing them once a week for a couple of months. Then finally not at all. Just be certain you periodically check to make sure it is still easy to put on those last two aligners. If it ever gets challenging, go back to wearing them at night for a while.
A Hidden Bonus with Invisalign
Many patients don’t realize that their Invisalign aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. You can utilize this by asking whatever dentist you end up with for your regular care to provide you with some professional strength teeth whitening gel. Let him know you already have the trays and just need the gel. Then, when you’re wearing them at night, put some gel in the aligners. You will whiten your teeth while you sleep all while keeping your teeth perfectly straight. It’s like getting a mini smile makeover.
This blog is brought to you by La Jolla Dentist Dr. Stephen Doan.