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Everyone dreams of a straight and perfect smile, and there's no better way to achieve this than with Invisalign treatment. Invisalign is a substitute for braces and provides an invisible and painless way to straighten teeth.
The invisible aligners can even straighten adults' teeth and may be suitable for older teenagers. Generally, the treatment may be completed in a year. During which you're supposed to wear the removable aligners almost all the time, about 22 hours per day.
However, once the treatment is complete and your teeth are discreetly straightened, it's still essential to look after your new smile. In short, treatment continues even after the teeth are straightened. Taking care of your new smile ensures you enjoy all the hard work put in the treatment period for years to come. This post will offer tips for taking care of your new smile after Invisalign treatment. Take a look!
1. Wear your retainer
The first step to taking care of your smile after an Invisalign treatment is wearing your retainer as recommended by your doctor. Retainers are similar to the aligners used during treatment.
They are easy to use and fit perfectly over your teeth. Just like the aligners, retainers are removable, but if you're a forgetful person, there's an option of a permanently fixed retainer. It entails a thin wire that's permanently fixed to the inside surface of your front teeth. However, with the permanent retainer, you'll have to spend more time cleaning it to remove any food debris trapped in the wire.
There are several frequently asked questions about retainers. They include:
What do retainers do?
During the Invisalign treatment, your teeth are shifted to brand-new positions, which affects the bones and tissues holding them. You can look for pictures of Invisalign before and after from Aria Dental clinic.
After the teeth are straight, it takes time for the bones and tissues to adapt and stabilise to the new position. It can take a whole year or longer to be fully stable. Failing to wear your retainers as your dentist recommends increases the risk of a tooth relapse. Teeth relapse is when your teeth begin to drift back to their original state.
The retainers work to prevent your straightened teeth from shifting back to the previous state. It also helps maintain the tension on the teeth and holds them in their rightful place. Therefore, retainers must be worn as advised by the dentist to protect your teeth from wear and tear.
Do I have to wear retainers all the time?
Immediately after the Invisalign treatment is completed, your dentist will recommend wearing your retainer all the time for a whole year. Once your teeth have settled down and the bones and tissue surrounding the teeth have stabilised, the dentist reassesses your condition and may suggest shifting to wearing the retainers at night or for a given number of hours to ensure your teeth don't move.
How long do I need to wear retainers?
The bones and tissues around your teeth can change or remodel throughout your lifetime. It is the reason Invisalign treatment works for older adults. It also explains why it's possible to rectify broken teeth.
As you age, your teeth naturally change position, even if you've never had an Invisalign treatment in the past. To help avoid these movements, you can wear removable retainers at night or for a certain number of hours for a long period or the rest of your life. Permanent retainers can be worn for at least five years.
How will the retainer affect my lifestyle?
Just like the invisible aligners used during treatment, you'll need to remove the retainers every time you need to eat or brush and floss your teeth. It also applies when playing contact sports or wearing a sports mouthguard to protect your straight teeth.
After removing the retainer, it's advisable to clean it to ensure it's clean and fresh. Always keep track of your retainer after removing it, as pets, especially dogs, find retainers as good chew toys. If you have permanent retainers, avoid biting solid objects as this could dislodge or break the wire.
How do I take care of my retainer?
Since your retainer is essential to maintaining your new smile, it's best to take good care of it. Rinse it every time you take it off or before fitting it over your teeth.
You should also clean it every night, but avoid using toothpaste because it contains abrasive ingredients that could dull the retainer's finish and lead to bacteria build-up. The best way to clean your retainers is by buying drop-ins. They have different brands designed for cleaning dental devices.
Additionally, your retainers not only hold your teeth in position but also protect your teeth from damage from common issues like tooth grinding. As a result, they are prone to wear and tear and should be replaced regularly. Dentists prefer to replace them every nine months to one year.
2. Brush and floss your teeth daily
Invisalign treatment helps straighten your teeth. However, it's essential to floss and brush your teeth every day to keep them healthy. Brushing and flossing help remove plaque, which can result in calculus or tartar if not cleaned.
The build-up of these can lead to gum disease and gingivitis. While your gums may be sensitive to brushing and flossing after the treatment, warm salt water may help reduce the discomfort. Sensitive toothpaste can also help relieve discomfort. When brushing and flossing after the treatment, be extra cautious to avoid damaging your teeth and gums.
3. Regular check-ups
Frequent dental check-ups are essential for everyone, but they are essential for Invisalign patients. During the check-ups, the dentist assesses the condition of your teeth to ensure they are in place.
If needed, the dentist may modify or replace your retainers according to your needs. Check-ups also allow the dentist to rectify any potential issues with the alignment that may have occurred after the treatment.
There you have it! There aren't many steps to taking care of and maintaining your new smile after the Invisalign treatment. However, following those easy tips ensures you enjoy the hard work of Invisalign treatment by having aligned teeth for the rest of your life. In case of any dental problems before your scheduled check-up, visit your doctor immediately for a consultation.