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Do I Still Need to Wear a Retainer After Invisalign?

Do you still need to wear a retainer after Invisalign? Or could you simply continue to wear the last Invisalign brace to ensure your teeth stay in place?

Doctor Answers 12

Retention is the only way to keep the teeth in place

Whether with wires or Invisalign, once the teeth are moved to the desired place, they won't want to stay there. After active orthodontics, wearing a retainer is the only way to keep them there. Over time, the bone will become more dense and retainer wear can be moved to night-time only.

It is as if you were given a gift of pajamas/nightgown that if worn every night would keep you skinny. Would you wear it? Even if it wasn't your favorite color?

The aligner materials are not strong enough to wear indefinitely. The should be discontinued after a month or two. The Vivera retainers are designed to last much longer.

Seattle Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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Yes, a retainer must be worn after Invisalign

After tooth movement with either traditional braces or invisalign there is a tendency for the teeth to want to migrate to their original position. Teeth are held in the jaw with a periodontal ligament that is very elastic and has a propensity to retreat to its previous position. This is why wearing some type of retainer is necessary.

With invisalign the last aligner can be worn as a retainer and it is only necessary to wear it at night when sleeping.

Other types of retainers can be worn to do the same task that may be more practical for some patients.

Ryan Sellinger, DMD
Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist

Last Invisalign as retainer

You could theoretically wear the last aligner as your "retainer." However, after time this aligner will discolor, wear or loosen. 

The only guaranteed way to keep your teeth from shifting is to wear a retainer every night for the rest of your life.

A fixed or removable retainer are better options than your last aligner.

If you fail to wear your retainer, just be prepared to go through treatment again.

The most common Invisalign case in my office is an adult 35-50 years old that had braces as a child, never wore a retainer and now their teeth have shifted. 

Invisalign's Vivera Retainers

The Answer is yes!

It is important to wear retainers at the completion of active tooth movement. Invisalign has a series of retainers that can be purchased called Vivera retainers.  They are very similar to the Invisalign trays although made of a somewhat stronger material.

When you purchase Vivera, you will receive 4 retainers per dental arch that will be sent to your home address at the appropriate times over a 2 year period.

Janet H. Stoess-Allen, DMD
New York Orthodontist

Retainer after Invisalign

The quick answer to your question is yes.  If you don't wear the retainer after your treatment the teeth will begin to shift and all of the effort and money you put into straight teeth will be gone.  Over a period of time you may be able to decrease the time you wear the retainer, but check with your doctor to discuss the time frame they feel is appropriate for you.

Daniel Beninato, DDS
Omaha Cosmetic Dentist

Do I need a retainer after my Invisalign treatment?

Absolutely !!  Whenever we move the teeth, we need to "hold" our result.  Moving teeth causes remodeling of the supporting bone and tooth socket.  Time is needed to allowing healing and stabilization of the tooth in the "new" position.  If retainers are not worn, the teeth can drift back toward their initial position.  Regardless, we know that the teeth are not static.  They continue to move throughout one's lifetime, therefore maintaining tooth position with retainers is important.

Kara J. McCulloch, DMD
Mercer Island Orthodontist


It is advisable to wear retainers night and day for at least 3 months after you finish. After that try to wear retainers at night every night for another 3 months and then 1-2 times a week at night forever!!

You will notice that after 1 year you can wear the retainer once a week.

Its not too much trouble to do that


Raj Kumar, BDS, LDSRCS
London Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Retainers after Invisalign

Hi there,

It is a commonly asked question by our pateints, Retainers is must after invisalign treatment as teeth have a tendency to move back to their original position . All time and money can go wasted if you do not wear the retainers.

Dalvir Pannu, DDS
San Jose Cosmetic Dentist

Retainers are a must.

It is imperitive that you wear your retainers as your Doctor recommends.  Studies have shown that without proper retention, the teeth will likely relapse.  It would be a shame to invest time and money in a beautiful smile only to let it loose some of it's beauty due to relapse.

Cate Vieregger, DDS
Denver Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Retainers absolutely necessary to maintain Invisalign results

If you desire to maintain your teeth in their new positions, a retainer of some sort is a must.

To slow down teeth movement, teeth need to be held in their new positions for a length of time. The roots need to be parallel and all rotations actually need to be overrotated or overcorrected.

Retainer types include: Invisalign retainer, permanent retainer, or Hawley retainer. In my experience with Invisalign, I actually recommend longer wear of a retainer (vs. braces) to prevent minor tooth relapse. Also, if the bite is not corrected, there is a greater chance of movement post-treatment.

Tony Cucalon III DDS
San Francisco Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.