When you undergo orthodontic treatment, you are essentially attempting to permanently move bones. As your teeth are connected to your jawbone, it must yield to the new positions your braces or aligners move them to. This is a process called resorption. Once it has let your teeth go where they need to, new bone must be deposited in order to help the teeth stay in their new places. You will likely be instructed to wear an Invisalign retainer after your main orthodontic treatment in order to help this depositing process.
The length of time you will need to wear your retainer depends on several different factors. Your age, the severity of your initial orthodontic issues, and whether or not the retainer is being used to finalize any tooth positions are all elements that come into play when estimating how long you will require the use of a retainer.
Most patients are at first asked to wear their retainer twenty-four hours a day for a minimum of three months. After this period, if patients have worn the appliance for the appropriate amount of time, the retainer use can be reduced to just sleeping hours. This segment usually lasts between six months and a year. If your Invisalign doctor in Los Angeles is happy with your teeth at this point, they will then likely ask you to continue wearing it three to five days a week, indefinitely.