I am on my last pair of aligners and need to move out of state. It is rather sudden, but my mother had a stroke and will need a lot of care. I can work from anywhere so I’m going to move there to be closer to her. I don’t know if I will need to find a new Invisalign dentist or if any dentist can give me the retainer I need. I was told it is important to wear a retainer for a while. How do I handle that?

Amanda

Dear Amanda,

An image of Invisalign aligners

I am sorry to hear about your mother. It is wonderful how you are stepping up to take care of her. You will not have to find another Invisalign dentist to finish out your treatment. You are already on your last pair of aligners so you won’t need any further aligners.

Your dentist is correct that you will need a retainer. It is important in order to get your teeth used to their proper alignment. Without that, they will begin to shift again. The good news is, your final pair of aligners can double as a retainer for you. This will take one burden off of your shoulders while you care for your mother. Follow these directions carefully and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Using Invisalign as a Retainer

  • Step One: Wear them as you have been for your treatment for about a month, only taking them out to eat as well as brush or floss.
  • Step Two: Wear them only at night for a month
  • Step Three: Wear them every other night for a couple of months, doing a shift check after the first few days.
  • Shift Check: If when you try to place your aligners in, they seem a tad more difficult than before, it means your teeth have shifted and you need to go back one step.
  • Step Four: Back off a tad more by wearing them once every three or four days for a month or two, being careful to do shift checks.
  • Step Five: Wear them once a week for a month.
  • Final Step: Leave them out completely.

One word of caution here. Make sure you keep your aligners around and periodically give your teeth a check.

Cosmetic Double Duty with Invisalign

There is another benefit to having your Invisalign aligners around. They can double as teeth whitening trays. This will allow you to whiten your teeth while keeping them straight. All your dentist will have to provide you with is the professional strength gel, which will save you a lot of money.

Best of luck to you and your mother.
This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.