Invisalign® has become one of the most popular alternatives for braces since its creation several years ago. The clear, removable trays are much more user-friendly, especially for adults who aren’t keen on looking like the “brace faces” they so tried to avoid becoming in high school. Like traditional braces, though, Invisalign® patients need a retainer for a set amount of time after the tooth-movement treatment is done. Most patients receive clear tray-style retainers like those from Essix, which invariably leads to the question of whether the patient can just use the last Invisalign® tray. The answer could be both yes and no.
Invisalign® and Essix use different plastics and different thicknesses. Because Invisalign® is meant to be left in the mouth most of the time, it’s made of slightly thinner material so that it’s easier for you to speak. Essix is a bit thicker, so it’s stronger.
For your actual retainer needs, you will want to go with retainer trays from Essix. They are more likely to last as long as you need them to (which is most of the time for about a year after finishing Invisalign® treatment, and then a couple of times a week indefinitely after that). They also have less give; Invisalign® is meant to guide your teeth into place, while Essix is meant to hold them there.
That’s not to say the last tray needs to be banished when you’re done. Hang onto it because you could be able to use it in case you lose your retainer tray. While you’re waiting for another Essix tray to be made, you could opt to use that last tray — just care for it carefully.
Unique Orthodontics has locations in Fresno, Clovis, Madera, and Tulare. We offer Invisalign® and other alternatives to braces, and you can get customized retainer trays once your treatment is done.
Once you’ve gotten your teeth into the position that you want, you do not want them to start moving again — and they can. Come to Unique Orthodontics to find the right procedure to make your smile the best around. Contact us today to book an appointment!