Why You Need a Retainer After Invisalign

After you finish the Invisalign treatment, you will be ready to say goodbye to those aligners and let your new smile run free. Not so fast — there is still one more step. Make sure your beautiful results are permanent by listening to your dentist and wearing a retainer after you complete Invisalign! This is the key to enjoying straight teeth for life.


It doesn’t matter whether you have had traditional braces, Invisalign, or another treatment. Right after your time with braces or aligners is complete, your teeth look like they should — but they are still on semi-shaky ground. Once they are not being held in place by the Invisalign aligners for the majority of the day, those pearly whites will be all-too-eager to drift back into their original spot. A retainer helps your teeth transition to freedom while remaining in their optimal position.


Some retainers used after traditional braces have a metal wire running right across the front teeth. But the Essix retainer is just the same as the Invisalign aligners you are already used to. It is clear, plastic, and practically invisible when worn.

Immediately after your Invisalign treatment is complete, your dentist will recommend you wear the retainer almost round-the-clock. After a while, though, you can gradually work your way down to using it only at night. Once that time arrives, you will need to continue to wear the retainer every night for the best and most lasting results.


Taking care of an Essix retainer is important for keeping it clean, bacteria-free, and smelling good. Make sure to rinse your retainer and brush it with a mild hand soap after you take it out. Soaking it in a denture cleaner or the special Invisalign cleansing system every now and then will further help you fight tartar/calcium buildup for a cleaner retainer. Anytime you are not wearing Essix, store it in the hard, ventilated case your dentist gives you to avoid damage or loss.

Even though you will need to wear Essix for the long-term, the retainer will not last forever. You can expect each one to stay sturdy and functioning properly for about a year before replacement is required. Cleaning it properly and storing it in its hard case can help you to avoid the need to get a new one sooner than required.

To conclude, wearing a retainer may not sound like the most glamorous thing, but it’s the only way to enjoy your new results for life — making your investment in Invisalign worth it! After a while, you’ll be in the habit and won’t think twice about popping in your Essix retainer before bed.

Meet the Practice

The Canatella Dental team offers a number of cosmetic dentistry treatments, including Invisalign. Many patients are eligible for this subtle orthodontic treatment. To discuss clear aligners or the Vivera retainer, do not hesitate to get in touch with your cosmetic dentist in New Orleans by calling 504-717-4259.