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How Long Do I Have to Wear Retainers?

How Long Do I Have to Wear Retainers?


Glad you asked!

This question is asked quite frequently, so we thought we would answer.

Here at Case Orthodontics, when you are issued your initial set of retainers we advise all patients to wear their retainer’s full time. Full time means at least 20 hours a day for three months. After your teeth have had time to stabilize, we advise to wear your retainers at night. We suggest at least a year of continuous retainer wear after that, wearing the retainer three to five times a week for life.

No matter what treatment option you choose to go with, you will always need retainers.

It is important to wear your retainer because as your body grows, your teeth do some shifting. The purpose of the retainer is to control the shifting which occurs naturally. Without consistent wear for the rest of your life, you risk the chance of your teeth returning to their pre-orthodontic position. Teeth are not static. They are active, always moving and they will continue to move and shift even though you’ve had braces or Invisalign. If your teeth ever hurt when putting your retainers in or at any time when you are wearing them, that is your first caution sign that your teeth are trying to move and you should wear them more frequently. Adult patients usually sleep with their retainers on for the rest of their lives, if they want their teeth in perfect alignment.

Your initial retainers can last anywhere from two to ten years, depending on how well you take care of them. If your retainer has been broken or lost make sure to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible to replace!

Always remember, going a period of time without wearing your retainers can result in teeth shifting. Retainers may not seem like fun, but hey! It’s better than braces, right?

How Long Do I Have to Wear Retainers?

Invisalign® vs. Traditional Braces

Many people have this question come to mind after they make the step to pursue orthodontic treatment:

“Do I choose Invisalign or traditional braces”? HELP!

First, let’s start by understanding exactly what the differences between the two are.

When someone mentions braces, a lot of people refer back to when they were younger and remember the “train track” and painful experience. It’s important to recognize that today’s braces are less noticeable, have the option of being clear and are more comfortable; just to name a few!

Having braces on your teeth means that you have a bracket attached to each tooth, along with one arch wire that extends through each tooth.

Choosing Invisalign allows you to straighten teeth without wires and brackets that are associated with traditional braces, making it a more “clearer” option.

Invisalign® uses removable, clear aligners to correct your misaligned teeth.

Each set of aligners gently guides the teeth into place and is worn for approximately two weeks before moving on to the next in the series. You can remove your aligners for eating and when you brush and floss your teeth. The removable design enables you to eliminate harmful bacteria from your teeth and gums. This reduces your risk of tooth decay and other potentially harmful dental issues.

Both treatment options Invisalign® and Traditional braces have their pros and cons.

Invisalign is not for everyone. It requires you wearing the aligners for 22 hours a day, which is the reason it is recommended for teens and adults. Also, there are a few corrections that are not available with Invisalign. Dr. Case will be sure to advise the patient whether he or she is a candidate for Invisalign treatment.

Always seek the advice of an Orthodontist before choosing. Whichever treatment option you choose, the result will almost always be the same. It will provide you with straight aligned teeth that can transform your appearance and over all oral heath!

How Long Do I Have to Wear Retainers?

A Common Imperfection and the Perfect Invisalign® Solution

“But wait…there’s more…!” That’s often heard at the false-close of a TV infomercial.

Numbing effect aside, it works as an attention getting technique. Let’s apply it to orthodontic dentistry and more specifically, to Invisalign®.

There’s “more” to Invisalign® than cosmetic appeal. That’s a start and one of the primary reasons you would choose the treatment.

We also talk about convenience (aligners are removable), appearance (aligners are clear with no metal or wires), and efficient (less in-office adjustments). All are strong benefits of orthodontic treatment with Invisalign®.

The “more”…

Orthodontic dentistry is a corrective treatment. The primary focus is correcting your bite.

The technical term for an improper bite is known as malocclusion. Dental braces have been the go-to solution for years.

Your teeth can become misaligned. This leads to the most common and visible results referred to as an overbite or an underbite – malocclusion.

An aligned bite causes your teeth to fit together properly. This is referred to as occlusion.

It’s uncommon for you, or anyone, to have a perfect bite. Malocclusion is more common and natural in some form.

There are reasons for this. Genetics, tooth crowding, missing teeth that aren’t replaced, dental trauma, or childhood habits such as thumb sucking can cause malocclusion.

The “more” you know…

There are three phases or forms of malocclusion. The good news is that each is treatable (more on that in a moment).

Phase 1 malocclusion – your bite is normal but your teeth are crooked or crowded together. This makes brushing and flossing a challenge. And without proper or consistent oral hygiene you can develop other dental problems.

Phase 2 malocclusion – your upper/top teeth extend beyond or over your lower/bottom teeth. This creates an overbite.

Phase 3 malocclusion – your lower/bottom teeth extend outward and overlap your upper/top teeth. This causes an underbite.

The “more” you know…the better

Invisalign® can correct your malocclusion. Oral surgery is only necessary for extreme circumstances of overbite, underbite, and crowded or misaligned teeth.

It’s important to treat malocclusion early. For example, your child’s tooth and jaw development makes it easier to treat when they’re young.

You can certainly benefit as an adult too.  Invisalign® is effective for treating you and your child’s tooth misalignment and the problems associated with malocclusion.

Contact your Charlotte orthodontist about your tooth alignment and bite issues. Schedule a consultation to discuss Invisalign® orthodontic treatment to correct these problems and improve your dental health.

How Long Do I Have to Wear Retainers?

The Crossover Appeal of Invisalign® That You Might Not Be Aware Of

Crossover appeal. Consider it the “cherry on top” of whatever you already know has value.

You’re aware that orthodontic treatment straightens your teeth. That alone is typically enough to persuade you to make the investment.

Straight, aligned teeth can transform your appearance. Sure, looks aren’t everything but they sure do provide a boost to your confidence.

Invisalign® delivers an appealing smile. And yet there’s a crossover benefit that you may not be aware of.

The American Dental Association (ADA) confirms what treatments like Invisalign® provide. They have determined that overall you will experience improved dental health following orthodontic treatment.

Straight teeth are only the beginning of what Invisalign® helps you achieve.

There’s more…

1-Experience less impact on your lifestyle than with standard orthodontic treatment.

You’re not alone if you have postponed orthodontic treatment because of the hassle. It’s much easier to avoid traditional braces due to the impact they have on your lifestyle.

Traditional braces use brackets and wires to bring your teeth into alignment. It’s easier for food to be caught and your risk of plaque build-up increases since basic dental hygiene is a bit more difficult.

Invisalign® uses removable, clear aligners to correct your misaligned teeth. You can remove your aligners for eating and when you brush and floss your teeth.

The removable design enables you to eliminate harmful bacteria from your teeth and gums.  This reduces your risk of tooth decay and other potentially harmful dental issues.

2-Improve the health of your teeth and gums

Poor tooth alignment puts your teeth and gums at risk. More so, you might not be aware of what you cannot see happening.

Gum disease and tooth decay can have a silent impact on your health. Many symptoms are not noticeable until damage has occurred.

Crooked teeth are as vulnerable as your otherwise straight teeth. This makes it vital that you schedule consistent dental check-ups and teeth cleanings.

The symptoms of gum disease can be diagnosed and treated before they get worse. Your misaligned teeth are an effective reminder to have a thorough check-up.

Orthodontic treatment with Invisalign® will restore your teeth to their proper alignment. At the same time the procedure can help reduce your risk of damage to your teeth and gums.

3-Establish lifelong healthy habits.

There’s a proven connection between good oral health and your physical health. Straight, aligned teeth can increase your desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Health problems arise when you give poor attention to your dental care. Gum disease, tooth decay, bleeding gums, bad breath, and occasionally tooth loss can result from inconsistent or neglected dental hygiene.

Invisalign® improves your appearance and how you feel about it. Straight teeth are healthier teeth and they’re a good sign you’re prioritizing your health.

When you look good you feel good and you take steps to assure that continues. How’s that for crossover appeal?

How Long Do I Have to Wear Retainers?

Get the Most From Your Dental Insurance Benefits While You Can

It’s common this time of the year to hear someone say, “Where did the year go?” The holiday season and approaching New Year remind you to slow down and reflect.

Dental treatment is perhaps not among your moments of reflection. I understand that, but I’d offer one suggestion, and depending on your circumstances this could help you financially.

A potential surplus

As this year closes, you could have unused dental insurance benefits. The good news is that your benefits renew annually.

The bad news is that those same benefits do not roll over into the New Year. If you do not use them you…well…lose them.

The same applies to your Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) benefits. They’re yours to use before the New Year begins.

Your annual insurance maximums are beneficial to you and your family. Bottom-line the dollars are yours to invest in the dental treatment that improves your long-term health.

To your advantage

You can use your remaining insurance benefits to begin treatment you’ve been delaying. Your out-of-pocket costs could be reduced depending on the amount of benefit you have available and the timing of your treatment.

It’s essential that you ask your Charlotte orthodontist about your orthodontic treatment plan and how your dental insurance applies. Also, ask us about the most cost-effective ways to maximize your remaining annual benefits and if they can be applied to any pending treatment.

Aside from dental emergencies and preventive dental care, your orthodontic treatment is a significant place to invest a portion of your allowable dental insurance. This is especially advantageous to you if your remaining benefits are applicable.

Prioritize your dental health and begin improving your smile as this year ends and the New Year begins. This time next year you’ll be glad you took full advantage of your available dental insurance benefits.

Contact your orthodontist in Charlotte about Invisalign™ orthodontic treatment. Schedule a consultation to discuss your dental insurance options for covering a portion of your treatment.

How Long Do I Have to Wear Retainers?

Your “Backstage Pass” to the Basic Benefits of Invisalign™

Think of it like your personal backstage pass. A behind-the-scenes perspective has a way of confirming the value of a particular product or service.

Invisalign™ is known to be a premiere orthodontic treatment. But are you aware of what makes it superior for straightening and aligning your teeth?

Invisalign™ Fundamentals and What They Mean to Your Lifestyle

It’s important to consider the impact that orthodontic treatment will have on your overall lifestyle. No doubt straighter teeth can transform your appearance and how you feel about yourself.

That’s the point, right? And it might seem secondary, given that, to also consider the impact on your time and financial investment as well.

Invisalign™ is a different brand of orthodontic procedure compared with traditional, metal braces. Each treatment ultimately achieves similar results – straighter, more attractive looking teeth.

That said you will experience a significant difference with Invisalign™. The impact on your lifestyle is most noticeable during and, of course, after your treatment.

  • Invisalign™ relies on a series of somewhat invisible aligners. The treatment uses this technology instead of the more visible, metal bands common with traditional orthodontic braces.
  • Invisalign™ is also removable throughout your treatment period. Though it’s recommended that you wear your aligners consistently each day, you have the convenient option of removing them for meals and routine tooth brushing and flossing.

The Convincing Benefits

  • Invisalign™ is a more comfortable treatment than traditional braces. The clear, customized aligners fit snugly over your teeth to move them into proper, healthy alignment. You can experience some pressure throughout your treatment although this indicates that your teeth are being gradually straightened.
  • Invisalign™ gives you freedom from most side-effects. For example, you can remove your aligners each time you eat or snack without the hassle of food getting caught or causing irritation.
  • Invisalign™ aligners are comfortable enough to wear for most of each day. Your treatment goals will be achieved most effectively by wearing them for approximately 22 hours or more daily and trading out your aligners as recommended by your personal treatment plan.

Contact your Charlotte Orthodontist about the health and lifestyle benefits of Invisalign™ orthodontic treatment. Schedule a consultation to discuss how Invisalign™ can straighten and align your teeth.