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 6-12 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!
Invisalign Vivera™ vs. Essix Retainers
Invisalign produces their own patented retainers, called Vivera™. Essix retainers are another form of clear retainer, made by a separate company. While both Vivera™ and Essix retainers are designed for the same purpose – to protect the gains of your orthodontic treatment – Essix retainers don't offer the same patented technology as Vivera™. Vivera™ retainers use patented SmartTrack™ material, for sturdy, effective retention of your smile; these retainers last longer and are up to 30% more durable than Essix retainers. Essix retainers are made of thinner plastic and will break or bend more easily. In addition, Vivera™ retainers come in a bargain set of 4, saving you money by purchasing more retainers at once.
How Do I Clean My Invisalign Retainers?
Invisalign Vivera™ retainers are easy to clean and maintain. Wash immediately after wearing by brushing gently with a toothbrush and warm water or dish soap. You can also soak them in mouthwash or water and Invisalign cleaning crystals for a thorough cleanse. Keep them in a case when not in use, to prevent damage or loss. Many retainers disappear thanks to curious dogs and cats looking for toys! Each set of Vivera™ retainers is designed to last a few years, but if it breaks or gets misshapen, or starts to feel too loose, you can switch to the next set.
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.