Life After Clear Aligners

Life After Clear Aligners

When there’s a sudden shift to your normal schedule and day-to-day flow, a sense of unfamiliarity can settle in. Some people welcome change with open arms. While others are more inclined to harp on the past. 

It’s fair to say that life after clear aligners is a slow progression. 


Because although you’ll still need to wear your aligners for at least eight hours each day before switching to a night-time only treatment plan, seeing your new and improved smile without clear aligners may take an even longer amount of time to accept. 

This transitional period is completely natural as you might recognize that something is missing. Allowing you to hyperfocus on the shape of your teeth, gums, and smile now that the attachments and other orthodontic accessories are off. 

According to a survey from NutrishMe, cosmetic gum treatment (42%) & dental bonding and/or reshaping (41%) were among the leading procedures respondents expressed an interest in or already went through with, post-Invisalign. 

The same survey discovered that professional teeth whitening is a popular option for many once they’ve finished their clear aligner program. These procedures can certainly get expensive so it’s important to weigh all of your options before asking “for the works.” 

The below post will cover: 

1) How to choose the correct permanent aligner for your teeth straightening goals

2) Ways to control your eating patterns when crossing this strange path to food freedom

3) Whether or not you’ll need to keep seeing your cosmetic dentist or orthodontist after you finish your clear aligner treatment plan

Let's dive in. 

Permanent Clear Retainers and Fixed Bonded Wires Serve Different Purposes

You can select stronger, more durable permanent clear retainers, traditional fixed bonded wires or a combination of both. 

The beauty of fixed bonded wires is that they require no extra commitment or maintenance. Unlike permanent clear retainers, you won’t have to worry about misplacing your trays or having to pay a fee for new ones. In addition, the wait time for replacement retainers can take 5 days or longer. 

Clear retainers, on the other hand, are easier to clean. They're less prone to irritate your gum line as well. 

Nevertheless, these solutions are still subject to general wear and tear. Permanent clear retainers may crack if you have a tendency to grind your teeth or clench your jaw (bruxism). The adhesive from fixed bonded wires can fall off from excessive flossing, leaving extra space behind your teeth. 

Pricing varies and each teeth straightening system is unique. Therefore it’s encouraged to have this discussion with your clear aligner provider well before your course of treatment comes to an end. 

Does the Removal of Clear Aligners Influence Disordered Eating Habits?

Being able to eat what you want, whenever you want. Sounds fantastic, right?

What’s considered a clear aligner perk is the potential to lose weight and or restrict your snacking tendencies. This health risk, for lack of a better term, has been deemed the "Invisalign Diet" by the media. 

Every which way you look at it though, disordered eating can come in many forms. 

It’s necessary to listen to your hunger cues once you’ve completed your clear aligner treatment plan. Eating for the sake of it or using food to compensate as an emotional crutch can have negative long-term effects.

You should also prepare your meals and snacks in advance, whenever possible to avoid impulse grocery hauls or fast-food runs. By spotting the gaps in your day when these areas aren't accounted for, you're setting yourself up to enjoy foods and ingredients that are suited for your lifestyle and nutritional needs. 

Don’t Be So Quick to Say Farewell to Your Clear Aligner Provider

You just spent 22+ months working towards a healthier, straighter smile. It would be a shame to have to start it all over again. After learning how much longer you'll have to wear your clear aligner retainers (or fixed bonded wires) and schedule a follow-up appointment at six month intervals.

Eventually, your cosmetic dentist or orthodontist may want you to come in for annual visits. Until then, continue to wear your retainers and stay on top of your oral hygiene to keep your periodontal health at its best. 


Moving past your former self with and without clear aligners necessitates the right mental fortitude. Oftentimes, this can’t be achieved alone. 

Well+Aligned by NutrishMe was developed by Dana M. Goldberg (Nutrition consultant, wellness specialist, and clear aligner coach). 

Her #1 mission is to help serve busy adults with the support they need throughout, during, and after one's clear aligner journey. From easy soft food recipes to tips on staying motivated, Well+Aligned gives all of the answers you’ve been searching for.

The W+A system offers 1:1 clear aligner coaching, meal planning made easy, and. Check out the Well+Aligned resources page and get started today!
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