Are retainers needed for teeth to stay straight after Invisalign in Chicago?

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Every person is born with a flawless smile that has the power to melt hearts and win friends. Then they get teeth. Very few of us are blessed with naturally perfect, straight teeth. Fortunately, modern dentistry has a number of solutions, including Invisalign, the invisible orthodontic treatment. Naturally, once your teeth straighten up, you'll want to keep them in line.

Retainers are important

Virtually every aspect of Invisalign is different from traditional metal braces, from the convenience of removing them during meals to the confidence of knowing they are invisible. However, the beautiful result, and what happens after treatment is not different. Does that mean you will need a retainer? Not necessarily. They are only recommended for patients who want their teeth to stay straight for life.

The fact is that teeth tend to shift subtly throughout your life, and they can be stubborn. Just because they have been put in their place, doesn't mean they will stay there. Without the guidance of a retainer, they sill sneak right back to where they were. If you are impatient to repeat orthodontics, by all means, skip the retainer.

Types of retainers

Removable retainers look very similar to Invisalign aligners. However, they are much sturdier, because aligners are only meant to be worn for two weeks, and retainers are made to last. How often do you need to wear them? The answer is different for every patient. Most people need to wear them every night for about six months. As time goes on, you may be able to wear them less often, such as one or two nights a week.

Fixed retainers are an option for many people. They are permanently attached to your teeth, out of sight. The advantage of this style is that you won't have to worry about forgetting to wear it. However, a fixed retainer will require a little extra attention during oral hygiene, because plaque can accumulate around it.

Don't worry – most patients find their retainers to be comfortable, and well worth the minimal inconvenience. You retainer will quickly become part of your regular routine, just like (we hope) brushing and flossing. Remember, very little in dentistry is permanent without basic care and maintenance – including your teeth.

Call us at 773-772-8400 and schedule an appointment today. The team at Big Smile Dental will work with you to choose the best orthodontic treatment, and style of retainer, for you.

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