The Complete Guide to Invisalign Vivera Retainers
When you’re done with your Invisalign treatment, you'll wear retainers to protect the results of your treatment and keep your healthy, fresh smile in place. Retainers are an important part of the Invisalign process that prevents your teeth from drifting out of alignment.
There are multiple forms of retainers, but the Invisalign Vivera™ retainer is traditionally used after Invisalign treatment. These clear retainers are made of the same premium-grade SmartTrack™ material as the aligners themselves, so you'll get the same comfort, convenience, and effectiveness from the retention stage as the treatment stage. They are made of thicker material, designed to last for years without breaking, cracking, or losing their shape.
This guide has everything you need to know about post-Invisalign retainers. Read on to learn all about Vivera™ retainers and how they protect your smile for years to come!
What Are Invisalign Retainers?
Invisalign Vivera™ retainers are clear, plastic retainers used to protect the results of Invisalign treatment. They look like Invisalign aligners, and are made of the same premium-grade SmartTrack™ plastic, but they are designed to keep teeth in place, not move them. They are thicker than Invisalign aligners, because they are designed for long-term use: a single set can last for several years when cared for properly.
Vivera™ retainers are sparklingly clear, easy to clean, and come in a set with multiple back-ups, so you can trade them out when they stretch, break, or get lost. They're built to be up to 30% more durable than other clear retainers.
In some cases, a different form of retainer may be used, rather than a Vivera™ retainer. Some patients, for instance, prefer a permanent retainer for its “get it and forget it” advantages. But many patients prefer the Vivera™ retainer; including many traditional braces patients. Talk with your orthodontist about which retainer is right for you.
Why Do You Need Retainers?
You need to retainers because, without them, your teeth will move back out of alignment. This is not because your orthodontist did a bad job with the Invisalign: it's because your teeth spent many years in their incorrect positions, and it takes a long time to “convince them” to stay put!
Retainers are used for the retention phase of treatment: they keep the results of your treatment in place, so they teeth don’t shift back. For the first 6 months to a year after treatment, you'll wear them full-time, and then you can switch to wearing them a few nights a week. Regular nightly wear for life will help prevent the natural tendency of teeth to shift over time.
Why Vivera™ Invisalign Retainers Are Used Post-Treatment:
- Protect the gains made by your Invisalign treatment
- Keep your teeth from shifting back
- Ensure your bite stays healthy and properly aligned
- Prevent gaps from appearing between your teeth
Do I Have to Wear Retainers After My Treatment is Over?
Yes, retainers are an important and necessary part of your Invisalign treatment. Without retainers, your teeth will shift back out of alignment, and the results of your treatment will be impacted. Without retention, your teeth may shift back out of alignment entirely, requiring another round of orthodontic care to correct. Don't waste the investment you made on Invisalign by skipping out on your retainers.
Luckily, Invisalign Vivera™ retainers are extremely comfortable and convenient, and after the first 3-6 months need to be worn only at night several nights a week. Your Vivera™ retainers come as a series of 4 sets, top and bottom (a total of 8 retainers), so you'll have backups whenever you need them. Nightly wear will become an easy routine, and your smile will stay healthy and shining for years to come.
How Much Do Invisalign Retainers Cost?
Depending on where you purchase your Vivera™ Invisalign retainers, they will cost between $600 and $1,200. However, this includes 4 sets of top-and-bottom retainers (8 retainers total), so you're actually paying less per retainer than other brands that provide only a single set. And because you will wear your retainers nightly for life, if possible, you will need new sets regularly.
Replacement or re-stocking Vivera™ retainers is easy: your orthodontist keeps your digital records on file, and they'll put a new order into Invisalign to print you a new set of retainers. No putty molds or complicated bonding; your new retainers can even be mailed to you at home, saving you a trip to the office!
How Do I Clean My Invisalign Retainers?
leaning your Invisalign aligners (or trays) is easy and important: there are several methods to brush, rinse, or soak your aligners to keep them sparkling clean and fresh.
Keeping your aligners clean is an important part of your Invisalign treatment. While your orthodontist will design the treatment to properly align your teeth, you'll be the one actually wearing the aligners. Proper compliance is critical to achieving a healthy, happy smile with Invisalign clear braces!
There are various methods to clean your Invisalign aligners – you don't have to stick to one method. In fact, the best way to protect your aligners is to brush them, rinse them, and soak them regularly.
Methods for Cleaning Your Invisalign Aligners
Brush your Aligners with a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush and Dish Soap
Using a separate toothbrush than your personal toothbrush, gently brush the aligners inside and out with a generic dish soap. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, put a pea-sized amount of dish soap on the toothbrush, run under water, and gently brush the entire aligner. Rinse thoroughly under water before putting back in your mouth.
Don't use toothpaste: the abrasive materials in toothpaste can scratch the surface of the aligners. And try to avoid very brightly-colored soaps with a lot of dye in them: this can potentially stain the aligners.
If you don't have dish soap available, you can use hand soap, or simply brush the aligners with water.
Soak Your Aligners in Denture Cleaner
Denture cleaner is sold over the counter at your local pharmacy and works well as a soaking solution for Invisalign. Polident is a popular and effective brand of denture cleaner. Simply soak both aligners in denture cleaner for about 15 minutes and rinse thoroughly before use.
Soak Your Aligners in Invisalign Cleaning Crystals
Invisalign Cleaning Crystals are a cleaning brand specifically designed by Invisalign to clean their clear aligners. Dissolve an individual packet of crystals into a glass of water and soak your aligners for 15 minutes. Rinse before putting back in your mouth. Invisalign cleaning crystals are a little pricier than the other options mentioned, but they are specifically designed to remove plaque and bacteria from your aligners, for the highest-quality clean.
Use EverSmile® WhiteFoam
EverSmile® WhiteFoam is a bacteria-killing, breath-freshening foam that you can apply directly into your aligners. With no brushing or soaking required, it's a good on-the-go solution to keep your aligners clean throughout the day. The foam gently whitens your teeth and your attachments, as well as whitening beneath the attachments to prevent discoloration. And its mint flavor makes WhiteFoam a great breath freshener any time. You can get WhiteFoam from your orthodontist or order online.
Soak in Hydrogen Peroxide
You might know hydrogen peroxide as a first-aid antiseptic or a bleaching agent for your hair, but it also is an excellent cleaner for Invisalign aligners! Mix equal parts warm water and 3% hydrogen peroxide, and soak both aligners for 15-30 minutes. Rinse before using. Note: hydrogen peroxide will kill the bacteria on your aligners, but not stop plaque, so you should brush them with water and/or dish soap using a soft-bristled brush after soaking to knock off any plaque that has accumulated.
Soak in White Distilled Vinegar
White distilled vinegar is an effective cleaning agent and works well for soaking aligners. Mix three parts warm water to 1 part vinegar (make sure it's white distilled vinegar, there are many other kinds that do not work for cleaning), and soak for 15-30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and brush to remove tartar or plaque.
What Not to Use to Clean Invisalign Aligners
Don’t Scrub with Toothpaste
Toothpaste has special minerals and additives to protect the enamel of your teeth, but it can scratch the surface of your aligners, making them more noticeable and less effective. Instead, brush them gently with water and dish soap using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Don't Soak Aligners in Colored Mouthwash
Long-term soaking in colored mouthwash can cause discoloration of the aligners. It's okay to douse them in mouthwash or swish mouthwash while wearing aligners, but rinse your mouth and aligners thoroughly afterwards. Or use a clear mouthwash, so as not to stain the trays.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Invisalign Aligners
How Often Should You Clean Your Aligners?
Clean your Invisalign aligners twice daily, along with brushing your teeth. Clean them by brushing or soaking using any of the methods described above, or a combination of them. For instance, some Invisalign patients prefer to brush them in the morning and soak them in the evening while they prepare for bed.
Remove aligners for eating and drinking anything but water, and store them in their case so they don't get damaged or lost. If possible, you should brush and floss after every meal, but if you don't have the ability to do that, just rinse your mouth with water and spit in the sink. Rinse the aligners under lukewarm water (hot water can warp the aligners) before putting them back in your mouth.
Keeping your aligners clean will help ensure your treatment is on track and progressing smoothly, and will prevent discoloration or staining on the aligners, making them look more noticeable.
Can I Use Cleaning Crystals?
Yes, Invisalign Cleaning Crystals are an excellent method to keep your Invisalign aligners sparkling clear and fresh. To use them, dissolve an individual packet of crystals into a glass of lukewarm water, and drop both aligners in. Soak them for 15-30 minutes in the solution, and then rinse after soaking to remove any residue. Soak every night for best results.
The cleaning crystal system is designed by Invisalign specifically to keep their aligners clean. They are optimized to kill bacteria and rid the aligners of any plaque build-up. You can order them online or get from your orthodontist.
How to Clean Your Invisalign Retainers
Cleaning your Invisalign Vivera™ retainers requires the same techniques as cleaning the aligners. Use retainer cleaning solution or denture cleaner (both available at your local pharmacy), Invisalign cleaning crystals, or brush your retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild dish soap to clean.
If they retainer eventually becomes discolored, warped, or misshapen, you can move on to a new retainer. Vivera™ retainers come as a package of 4 sets of retainers (8 total, top and bottom), so your retainers will last for years and protect your smile and the gains of your Invisalign treatment.
Be sure to store your Vivera™ retainer in its case when not wearing, to prevent damage or loss.
When Do I Need to Replace My Retainers?
Your Invisalign Vivera™ retainers come as a series of 4 top-and-bottom sets (8 retainers total). Each set is designed to last a long time – they are up to 30% more durable than other clear retainers. If cared for properly, then, a series of 4 should last you many years. When you need new retainers, replacement is easy: your orthodontist keeps your file on hand, and simply puts in an order to Invisalign to print you a new series of aligners.
How Long Does a Vivera™ Retainer Last?
Vivera™ retainers are 30% more durable than other clear retainers. If they are well-cared for, kept clean, and stored properly when not in use, a set can last for several years. Be sure to clean thoroughly after use and store when not wearing, to make sure your retainer works properly for as long as possible.
When Do I Need to Replace My Retainers?
Your Invisalign Vivera™ retainers come as a series of 4 top-and-bottom sets (8 retainers total). Each set is designed to last a long time – they are up to 30% more durable than other clear retainers. If cared for properly, then, a series of 4 should last you many years. When you need new retainers, replacement is easy: your orthodontist keeps your file on hand, and simply puts in an order to Invisalign to print you a new series of aligners. If you go to a new orthodontist’s office, they will take another iTero 3D scan or putty impressions to order you new Invisalign Vivera™ retainers.
What Should I Do If I Lose My Retainer?
If you lose your Vivera™ retainer, no need to panic: simply move on to your next retainer. You can either swap to a new set of top and bottom or replace only the one you’ve lost. Unlike Invisalign aligners, all the retainers are the same, because they keep your teeth in place rather than move them. If/when you run out of retainers, contact your orthodontist. They can easily use the digital records of your treatment to order you a new series of Vivera™ retainers from Invisalign, and even mail them to you at home.
Instructions for Vivera Retainers
- Wear your retainer(s) for 21-22 hours per day for three months. Remove them only to eat and brush your teeth. Missing time with your retainer(s) may allow your teeth to move.
- Always keep your retainers in the case when you are not wearing them. Keep your name and phone number on the case.
- Clean your retainers prior to each insertion. You may soak your retainers in Fresh Guard for 5 minutes daily. Use luke warm or cold water, not hot. Heat may distort your retainers. Do not use denture cleaner or soak your retainers in mouthwash as these products can damage the surface of the retainer causing it to become dull and more visible.
- Keep your retainers away from dogs and cats. They like to chew them.
- Do not leave them in your pockets. They will melt in the clothes dryer.
- Call the office if you are having any trouble with how your retainer fits in your mouth.
- Call immediately if you lose or break your retainers. Too much time without retainers will allow your teeth to move.
- Do not leave them in the car nor wash them in hot water. The heat will distort them.