If Invisalign Retainer is Only Worn for 12 Hours a Day After Treatment Will Teeth Remain in Position?

I will be completing a 9 month invisalign course in a few months and I have been offered two forms of retention: - fixed wire - Invisalign retainer Fixed would be preferable but teeth would touch wire and would need "dahl principle" to solve. Sounds quite dramatic. With a fixed retainer if I only wore this for 12 hours a day would my teeth remain in position or would it have to be worn for longer? Can't bear thought of having to wear it for 20+ hours a day like with Invisalign braces currently

Doctor Answers 5

Invisalign retainers

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For every Invisalign case, we give our patients a set of Invisalign retainers to wear just at night for the rest of their life. After spending money and time you do not want to go back and let your teeth shift. Wearing retainers every night is more than enough, it will protect your teeth also while you sleep, if you clinch.

Fairfax Dentist

Fixed retainer vs. an Essix retainer

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The so called "Invisaling Retainer" is also referred to as an Essix retainer. 

Upon the completion of orthodontic treatment, retainers are always used. Some people can have very stable results while others will see some tooth movement within hours after the retainer is removed. There will always be tooth movement throughout a life time whether you had braces or not. Malocclussions are very stable. This why retainers are used. 


Wearing a fixed retainer can present potential problems. It tends to prevent excellent oral hygiene. It is more difficult to floss with a fixed retainer so that there is a potential for decay and gum disease. They can also break or debond. When this happens, teeth can shift. If it comes loose, it could be swallowed or even worse, aspirated. 


Removable retainers are much more hygienic in that they are removed for brushing and flossing. 


This is a personal subject between yourself and your orthodontist.


R. Scott Smith, DMD
Springfield Orthodontist

Length of time to wear invisalign retainers

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12 hours per day should be adequate for necessary retention after completion of invisalign treatment.  There is no need to wear them longer

Invisalign retention

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During the first year 12-14 hours a day wear should be adequate.  Fixed or metal retainers are more secure in the long run.  After a year wear should dwindle down to night time only.   Retainers should always fit snug or that is an indication they are distorted or you might need them looked at.

Invisalign Retainer CAN be worn for 12-hours/day

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12 hours/day is adequate time for an Invisalign or Vivera retainer to be worn nightly to keep the teeth in position. No need to wear them longer.

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

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.