On Your Final Invisalign Braces? What Is The Next Step?

On Your Final Invisalign Braces? What Is The Next Step?

Invisalign is one of the most popular orthodontic treatments for straightening teeth. Not only do Invisalign aligners fix several orthodontic conditions, such as overbite, crossbites and crowded teeth with high success rates, but the cost of these  invisible braces is also remarkably affordable.

If you have been wearing Invisalign and are currently on the last leg of the treatment, congratulations! You are on your way to completing your journey of achieving the amazing smile you have been dreaming of.

However, that is not the end of it all. While your active treatment process may be ending, you will be moving towards maintaining that smile, also known as the retention stage. Without proper retention, you are almost guaranteed to lose your hard-earned results.

What is next after Invisalign?

At the end of every course of orthodontic treatment, whether it is with Invisalign or traditional braces, is the maintenance process to ensure your teeth remain in their final position. It is a vital step, as without it, your teeth will move back, sometimes even to their pre-treatment positions.

A retainer is employed to hold your teeth in place at the end of every orthodontic treatment. Patients are someimes required to wear a combination of fixed wire retainers and removable clear retainers for optimal results. However, it all depends on several factors related to your orthodontic treatment and the ideal solution will be determined by your orthodontist.

How often are retainers worn?

Your orthodontist will advise you on how often you should wear your retainers and when would be the best time to start reducing the number of hours you wear them each day. At the start of the maintenance process, you might need to continue putting on your retainers for at least 22 hours a day. There is no fixed timeframe or answer to when retainers are no longer necessary. Hence, it is crucial to wear them as instructed and wait for your orthodontist to advise you on the next step.

Will I need new retainers?

Your retainers should last you for a couple of years, as long as you wear and care for them as instructed. They only do not fit if your teeth start to shift back to their pre-treatment or mid-treatment position due to not wearing your retainers adequately. When that happens, your retainers will not fit, indicating a relapse that could be problematic.

You might also need new retainers if they wear out. After all, retainers are made of medical-grade thin plastics so that they are smooth and comfortable to wear. If you drink or eat anything other than clear, plain water while wearing a retainer, you run the risk of staining or damaging the retainer. If you also grind your teeth often, it will wear out faster too.

That is why it is imperative to remove them for meals and for brushing your teeth, before putting them on again.


Everybody responds differently to their orthodontic treatment. Some people’s teeth experience movement years or months after their orthodontic treatment is completed, while others do not experience much movement even if the retainers are not worn adequately. It is difficult for your orthodontist to predict how your teeth will respond after the braces are removed. The only way is to follow their instructions closely and see them regularly throughout the retention phase.

It is vital to keep up with every orthodontic appointment. Those moments are ideal for your orthodontist to check on the status of your teeth, and to check if there are any new developments, such as developing wisdom teeth, that may put your treatment at risk.

Here at BigSmile Dental Clinic, we offer a wide range of general dental and orthodontic treatments, such as teeth whitening, retainer fittings, and orthodontic braces, helping our patients achieve a confident smile and better dental hygiene. Contact us to get started on your orthodontic journey today!