Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign Retainers

How long have you been delaying your orthodontic care?
The prospect of …

prolonged treatment times, repeated orthodontic appointments, and the unsightly thought of wearing braces

… are few of the deterrents keeping thousands of people from getting the care they truly need and deserve.

Let Invisalign shortcut your journey to your dream smile!

With shorter treatment times, fewer orthodontic sessions, and a completely invisible presence in your oral cavity, Invisalign will turn your anxiety into an exciting treatment experience.

No more procrastinating. Let your pearly whites shine with Invisalign!

Why Should a Teenager Start Their Orthodontic Treatment Right Now?


Invisalign clear retainers are a type of orthodontic device designed to straighten your teeth.

Invisalign took the lead in developing clear aligners, managing to patent its innovative product back in 1998, after its FDA approval.

Dr. Chapman, a pioneer in embracing the clear aligner technology, employed Invisalign as a means to boost the confidence of his patients and guide their teeth towards a straighter path.

Are Invisalign Retainers Truly Invisible?


What’s cool about Invisalign retainers is that they’re so clear, people might not even notice you’re wearing them. This is a big win for a lot of our patients, particularly adults, who might feel a bit awkward wearing traditional braces.

How Does the Invisalign Treatment Work?


Your orthodontist or dentist will scan your teeth and send the result to the Invisalign lab. The lab then uses the scan to custom-make your aligners. What you get is a series of these aligners, each of which will slightly adjust to the position of your teeth.

You will wear each aligner for about 2 weeks, give or take, before you move on to the next one. Each aligner is a step towards your final, straight-teeth destination!

What are the Main Invisalign Benefits?


Invisalign has a range of benefits that make it a popular choice for teeth straightening, including:

  • Discreet Appearance: Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible, making them a more aesthetically pleasing option than traditional braces.
  • Removability: You can remove Invisalign aligners while eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing, providing a level of convenience traditional braces can’t match.
  • Comfort: Made from a special type of plastic, Invisalign aligners are smoother and more comfortable to wear compared to traditional braces with metal wires and brackets.
  • Predictable Results and Treatment Time: With the use of advanced 3D imaging technology, you can see the final position of your teeth even before starting the treatment, and also get an estimate of how long your treatment might take.
  • Improved Oral Hygiene: Since Invisalign retainers are removable, it is easier to clean your teeth properly, thus maintaining optimal oral hygiene during the treatment process.
  • Fewer Dental Visits: Typically, Invisalign requires fewer appointments with your orthodontist compared to traditional braces, as the treatment process is well-planned in advance.

Am I the Ideal Candidate for Invisalign?

Invisible teeth straighteners are an effective solution for various orthodontic concerns, including:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Spacing issues
  • Overcrowded or overlapping teeth
  • Open bite
  • Crossbite
If any of these conditions afflict you, then Invisalign offers a promising remedy. Using these invisible aligners, you can achieve well-aligned teeth and enhanced gum health. Provided you’re committed to diligently following the treatment regimen, Invisalign serves as an excellent alternative to other teeth alignment methods.

Invisalign aligners, known for their subtlety and effectiveness, are a prime choice for patients with relatively simple or minor orthodontic requirements. Although Invisalign might not be suitable for severe orthodontic cases, under the supervision of a competent orthodontic expert, it can still work wonders toward straightening your smile!

Who is Not a Good Candidate for Invisalign?

Regrettably, not all patients are suitable candidates for Invisalign. If you’re dealing with active gum disease or cavities, it’s essential that these conditions are addressed before commencing orthodontic treatment.

Aligners like Invisalign might struggle to rectify severe dental issues that necessitate oral surgery. This includes substantial overbites that require orthodontic operations to physically adjust the jaw.

Moreover, dental additions like implants, bridges, or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems may complicate Invisalign procedures, though they don’t categorically rule out patients from this orthodontic treatment. For those with small, worn, or oddly-shaped teeth, dental interventions might be necessary. However, orthodontists can sometimes accommodate these issues concurrently with invisible aligners if they are not excessively severe.

Invisalign aligners are generally not advised for individuals who smoke and are unable or unwilling to quit for the duration of the treatment. Smoking can lead to the discoloration of the aligners, rendering them stained and unsightly.

Finally, it’s crucial for patients opting for Invisalign to be motivated and disciplined enough to adhere to the treatment regimen consistently. If you’re unable to commit to wearing the aligners for a minimum of 20 hours per day, clear aligners might not be the right fit for you.

While Invisalign allows for greater control over your orthodontic treatment, it’s mandatory to follow your dentist’s instructions. Neglecting to wear your Invisalign aligners can result in costly dental adjustments to fix any errors made during your treatment process.

What is the Average Invisalign Treatment Time?

The average treatment time with Invisalign varies based on the individual’s specific needs and the complexity of their case.

Generally speaking, most patients complete their Invisalign treatment within 12 to 18 months. That’s the typical timeline for straightening those pearly whites using these clear, almost invisible aligners!

However, some folks might see results in as few as six months, while others with more complex dental issues may require up to two years of treatment.

Every smile is unique, and your orthodontist will give you a more precise timeline based on your individual situation!

How Many Hours per Day Will I Be Wearing Invisalign Retainer?

On a typical day, you’ll be rocking your Invisalign retainers for around 20-22 hours.

It might seem a lot at first, but they will start feeling like a second skin in no time! You’ve got the freedom to take them off when you’re eating or brushing, and soon enough, they’ll just slide seamlessly into your everyday life.

How Much Does Invisalign Cost on Average?

The expense tied to Invisalign is subject to the individual needs of the patient, but it’s safe for most patients to anticipate a financial commitment hovering around the $5,000 mark.

Is the Invisalign Treatment Covered by Insurance?

Many dental insurance plans do cover Invisalign treatment just like they would regular braces. Some might cover a portion of the cost, some might cover the whole thing, and unfortunately, some might not cover it at all.

The best way to find out is to reach out to your insurance provider and ask about your coverage.  Also, check with your orthodontist’s office to get a better grasp of your benefits.

If your insurance doesn’t cover it, don’t lose hope! Many orthodontists offer flexible payment plans, so you can still get that dream smile without breaking the bank.

Why Does My Invisalign Retainer Hurt?

The discomfort you experience with a retainer is largely due to its novelty.

Consider the recent events in your mouth. Your teeth, freshly liberated from the control of braces, are in a state of flux, yet to develop the new bone tissue needed to secure them in their new positions.

The role of your retainer is to prevent your teeth from reverting back to their original positions. This necessitates a certain degree of pressure, and that pressure can lead to discomfort.

You may also notice that your Invisalign retainers are painful in instances such as:

  • When a retainer is not worn as prescribed: The instructions might require you to wear your retainer continuously for a certain period, followed by nighttime wear only. It’s crucial to adhere to these instructions meticulously to prevent any shift in your teeth.
  • Improper insertion or removal of the retainer: If not handled with care, the retainer wires can bend and alter shape, resulting in uncomfortable pressure on your teeth.
  • Wearing an old retainer: The components of your retainer may degrade over time, causing it to fit improperly and develop areas that can cause irritation. At some point, replacement of the retainer will be necessary.
  • An ill-fitting retainer or shifted teeth: Your teeth can settle in a manner that results in an improper fit of your retainer.
  • A damaged or broken retainer: You may notice a rough edge or misaligned fragments of metal or plastic. Furthermore, exposure to hot water can deform the plastic, and the wires may bend.

Can Invisalign Attachments Improve My Orthodontic Treatment?

Invisalign aligners are bespoke products designed to nudge your teeth towards the desired alignment. However, when more complex movements are needed for certain teeth, your aligners require additional assistance.

This is where Invisalign attachments come into play! These tiny pieces of tooth-colored dental resin are adhered to selected teeth. Once your aligner is placed over these attachments, they provide the supplementary pressure necessary to effectuate the requisite movement in specific teeth.

Invisalign attachments serve as an anchoring point against which the aligner can exert pressure to steer the tooth or teeth in the appropriate direction.

The shape of Invisalign attachments can vary, including circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles. Each shape carries its own functional role within the Invisalign treatment system. For instance, apart from simple horizontal movement, it might be essential for certain teeth to execute a rotational adjustment.

A specific type of attachment aids in achieving this precise movement. Other types, on the other hand, assist in rectifying intrusions or extrusions.

Why Do My Invisalign Trays and Attachments Stain?

Invisalign trays and attachments indeed have the potential to be stained, although this can be readily prevented, and any mild staining that occurs can be cleaned.

Invisalign materials are generally quite resilient against staining. Also, severe stain accumulation is typically not a significant concern given that they are in place for a shorter duration compared to conventional braces. That said, they are vulnerable to potent substances.

The primary sources of Invisalign staining are dark-colored foods and beverages, which include:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Dark sodas
  • Red wine and other deep-hued alcoholic drinks
  • Berries and other deeply pigmented foods
  • Smoking or vaping

Should I Consider Invisalign Cleaning Crystals?

Invisalign cleaning crystals are engineered to combat bacteria, dissolve plaque, and diminish the chances of discoloration and staining, all while you’re assiduously wearing your Invisalign retainer to maintain your smile.

The last thing you desire is to invite decay and discoloration when you’re putting forth the effort of wearing your retainer every day to preserve that perfectly straight, dazzling smile you’ve long yearned for!

Utilizing cleaning crystals for your retainer can also thwart potential unsightly staining that could result in a murky, discolored smile when in public.

Here’s why being meticulous with the cleaning of your Invisalign retainer is paramount:

  • Food particles and debris from your mouth can lodge themselves in your retainer.
  • This debris magnetizes bacteria.
  • The presence of bacteria on your teeth can lead to plaque.
  • Plaque can culminate in cavities that will necessitate future treatments.
  • Maintaining a bacteria-free oral environment aids in warding off tooth decay and gum disease.

How Do Invisalign Bite Ramps Work on Aligners?

An Invisalign bite ramp is a small orthodontic device that can be affixed to the rear of the upper anterior teeth or, in certain instances, to the back teeth. Generally, bite ramps are directly adhered to the upper incisors and are utilized along with braces or aligners. Upon attachment, bite ramps inhibit patients from fully clamping down their bite.

Initially, the back teeth will not meet when bite ramps are installed. However, as time progresses, the pressure instigates the jaw to shift back to its correct position, the front teeth to recede and elevate, and the back teeth to gradually converge. Once the appropriate alignment of the jaw is accomplished, the back teeth regain their ability to make contact!

How Will Invisalign Chewies Help My Orthodontic Treatment?

Resembling miniature pool noodles, Invisalign chewies are about one to one and a half inches in length and slightly less than half an inch in width, with a hollow core. These squishy cylinders are crafted from styrene copolymer, a robust yet pliant type of plastic.

Invisalign chewies provide substantial assistance! The success of the Invisalign system depends on aligners fitting snugly against the teeth. If your aligner isn’t achieving that ideal fit — as in cases where air gaps or spaces occur between the aligner and your teeth — you can bite down on a chewie in the affected area. This provides the extra pressure necessary to ensure a perfect fit. Chewies also assist Invisalign attachments, such as buttons or elastics, in achieving a seamless fit with your aligners.

Chewies contribute significantly towards ensuring your Invisalign treatment proceeds as swiftly and effectively as possible. They’re certainly a preferable alternative to using your fingers to awkwardly push on the aligners for extended periods. This way, your jaw can do the heavy lifting!

Can Invisalign Rubber Bands Help Correct My Bite?

If Invisalign is a superhero for your smile, think of the rubber bands as its trusty sidekick!

The Invisalign rubber bands are super useful for correcting bite issues. When hooked up to your Invisalign aligners, they put just the right amount of pressure on your teeth, helping them move into better positions.

Whether you’ve got an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite, Invisalign rubber bands can be a big help in getting your teeth to align properly.

But, everyone’s mouth is unique, so it’s always best to check with your orthodontist to see if rubber bands are the right move for your smile. They’re the experts and will guide you on the best treatment for your needs.

Does Invisalign Come With Dietary Restrictions?

Absolutely not!

One of the big perks of Invisalign is that you can eat whatever your heart desires. There’s no list of forbidden foods or beverages because you just pop out the aligners when it’s time to chow down.

Unlike traditional braces, you don’t have any wires or brackets to worry about breaking or dislodging when munching on apples or nibbling on popcorn.

So, feel free to enjoy your meals and snacks without restrictions! Just remember to brush your teeth before putting the aligners back in. It helps keep them clean and avoids trapping any food particles.

Can I Switch My Orthodontist During My Invisalign Treatment?

Absolutely! If you need to change your orthodontist during your Invisalign treatment for any reason, no worries at all.

Your records, treatment plans, and everything else related to your Invisalign journey can easily be accessed by any orthodontist. This is thanks to the magic of the digital world we live in! Your scans, 3D treatment plan, progress reports — all of it can be transferred over to your new orthodontist.

So, if you’re moving, not happy with your current orthodontist, or for any other reason, you can certainly switch to a new one without missing a beat. Just make sure you communicate your plans well in advance so your current orthodontist can arrange to transfer your records and ensure a smooth transition.

What is the Ideal Age for Invisalign?

The optimal timing for initiating Invisalign treatment has a biological basis.

Young patients who are yet to lose all their primary teeth might not fully benefit from the advantages offered by clear aligners. As long as the process of losing teeth is ongoing, the oral cavity and teeth continue to evolve in terms of shape and position.

Consequently, any attempt to realign them without the presence of permanent incisors and first molars would be ineffective. As the timeline of tooth loss varies among children and young adolescents, there isn’t a universally defined age for the ideal commencement of Invisalign treatment.

On the other hand, there’s no age cap for leveraging Invisalign either. In fact, correcting misaligned teeth in later stages of adulthood can sometimes lessen the extent of restorative procedures needed!

Is There a Faster Version of the Invisalign Treatment?

Invisalign is crafted to tackle complex dental issues, but what if your oral condition isn’t that severe? In such instances, your orthodontist might suggest you opt for Invisalign Express!

The Invisalign Express journey mirrors the full Invisalign treatment in terms of process and equipment but demands fewer aligners to adjust your teeth. Consider the aligners in this case as short-distance sprinters in the relay race, as opposed to the middle- or long-distance runners in the complete setup!

Invisalign Express aligners are chosen only when a handful of teeth need repositioning, the movement required isn’t substantial, or when a tooth needs to be slightly rotated. It’s also a handy solution when a patient hasn’t been diligent with their post-braces retainer usage, causing the teeth to subtly regress to their original positions, a phenomenon known as orthodontic relapse.

Invisalign Express comes in three variants – you can choose from sets of 5, 7, or 10 aligners depending on your teeth’s status. And given the minimal movement achieved with Invisalign Express, it’s crucial to use a retainer post-treatment to maintain your teeth in their newly acquired positions.

The duration of the Invisalign Express journey can be a matter of a few months. The specific timeline is contingent on your teeth’s initial state. For a more precise estimate, you’d need to consult your orthodontist, but typically, the treatment spans between 10 and 20 weeks.

Can I Get Invisalign While in the Military?

Of course you can wear Invisalign while in the military!

Serving in the military shouldn’t delay your quest for that flawless smile you’ve always wanted. Sure, military life has its demands, but Invisalign can seamlessly integrate into it.

Actually, Invisalign isn’t just an option for our dedicated troops, but it’s also a top pick, and here’s why:


  1. Invisalign does not affect your dental class / readiness: Once boot camp is a wrap, you’re good to go for deployment!
  2. Invisalign is not tied to an orthodontist: Any orthodontist may access your Invisalign records (as long as you give the green light).
  3. Invisalign allows you to supervise your orthodontic treatment: Stick to the game plan, switch out your trays when needed, and voilà, that impeccable smile is within reach!