Can I Get a Retainer Instead of Braces?

Can I Get a Retainer Instead of Braces

In this post, we’ll look at the question, “Can I get a retainer instead of braces?” 

Often, the word “retainer” is confused with similar clear aligners. However, they are very different.

Invisalign Aligners Vs. Retainers

Invisalign is a popular, effective treatment that can correct a wide variety of orthodontic conditions. The clear BPA-free SmartTrack plastic is removable. So, it functions similarly to a retainer in that regard. While you are treating your smile with Invisalign, you can take out the aligners to eat, brush, and floss your teeth.

Similarly, retainers come out when you eat and clean your teeth. However, retainers serve a very different purpose. While Invisalign moves your teeth gradually to their ideal position, a retainer prevents your teeth from moving. Rather than moving teeth, it holds them in place so they don’t move again. 

Thus, following successful treatment with Invisalign, you’ll wear a retainer to keep your perfect smile in place. That way, you can enjoy lasting results and show off a perfect smile for life.

Invisalign is Better Than Ever

Interestingly, the invention of Invisalign may have been inspired by retainers. In 1997, Stanford student Zia Chishti finished braces treatment and then wore a clear plastic retainer. His observation of how the retainer worked inspired him to design aligners that could gradually move teeth without the need for braces.

Today, Invisalign is better than ever and has helped over eight million people get perfect smiles. Now, people of all ages are getting the smiles they wanted discreetly, comfortably, conveniently, and efficiently.

With Invisalign, you’ll wear a series of aligners for about two weeks. Then, after the teeth have gradually moved, you switch to a new set, and your teeth slowly move again. By the last set of aligners, your teeth will be in their perfect spots. The number of aligners you’ll need depends on your custom treatment plan.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lehigh Valley Orthodontics (@drbobbryan) on

A Retainer Won’t Replace Braces

Now that you know the purpose of a retainer, you understand that it would not correct your smile. Thus, a retainer can’t fix problems like overbites, underbites, gaps, or other malocclusions (misaligned teeth).

However, you will wear a retainer after treatment, so your smile stays perfect for life. For most people, it’s easy, and the payoff is more smiles and better health!

You’ll Wear a Retainer Following Invisalign or Braces

After treatment with Invisalign or braces, you must wear a retainer for some time. During this retention period, you can make sure that you keep your perfect smile for a lifetime. Generally, you’ll wear a retainer full-time for about 24 months. 

We recommend wearing the retainer at all times except when eating and brushing your teeth. Thus, it’s similar to Invisalign, which you keep in a special case when not in your mouth. While playing sports, you’ll wear a mouthguard while your retainer stays in the case.

After 12 months, we may revise when you need to wear the retainer to nighttime use only. Similarly, you’ll wear Invisalign at night, but the aligners must always be worn full-time for 22 hours a day or more.

By taking care of your retainer and wearing it as recommended, you are making sure your teeth stay in their perfect positions. Otherwise, they may gradually move again and need further correction. After the retention period, your teeth will remain permanently in place.

Success! Now, you’ll have a perfect smile to show for all your efforts.

See our funny video about wearing mouthguards below:

Start Today from Home

Today, it’s never been safer or easier to find out if you’re a candidate for Invisalign or braces. Stay at home and relax while you get the facts you need. 

Take a free virtual consultation from Dr. Bob Bryan Orthodontics. First, you’ll submit some photos of your smile. Then, Dr. Bryan will review them and reply with a free assessment. Learn how long treatment may take, get an estimate of cost, and find out about affordable financing. Finally, schedule your first in-person visit when you’re ready.

To begin, just click on the red button on the screen’s bottom that reads, “Start Your Virtual Appointment!” Or, request an appointment here.

As always, we’re here for you at (610) 435-2788 in Allentown, PA, and (610) 562-5185 in Hamburg.

Dr. Bob Bryan and the team at Bryan Orthodontics are experts in Invisalign and braces. We’re proud to serve Hamburg, PA, Auburn, PA, Berks County, PA, Shoemakersville, PA, Port Clinton, PA, Allentown, PA, Lehigh County, PA, Emmaus, PA, Bethlehem, PA, Lehigh Valley, PA.

You might also enjoy

Scroll to Top