Wearing Invisalign takes dedication, but knowing what to do after Invisalign treatment is just as important. Without following the correct after-treatment procedures, your teeth can shift out of place, undoing the beautiful smile you worked so hard to achieve.
Why don’t people follow the correct after-treatment procedures? They fall into a false sense of comfort that once their teeth are straightened, they will remain that way. Don’t suffer the consequences later – ensure your teeth remain straight by following a couple basic steps.
The Two Important Steps Following Invisalign Treatment-
1. Wear Your Retainer – Retainers maintain the tension on your teeth to hold them in place following Invisalign treatment. It’s proven that teeth will or can shift back to their original position if you don’t wear a retainer each night following treatment.
In fact, it’s that exact mistake that often leads people to Invisalign in the first place. Most people who seek Invisalign treatment do so because they didn’t wear their retainers after first getting braces, leading their teeth to shift.
Once you receive a retainer, it must be worn every night for the rest of your life. While this may seem tedious, the retainers are hardly invasive. They’re actually quite similar to the Invisalign aligners you wore during treatment, but now you only wear them at night.
Moreover, retainers do more than just keep your teeth straight. They also help protect your teeth from wear and tear, due to issues like nighttime teeth grinding. However, because the retainers are primarily made of plastic, they are subject to wear themselves. For that reason, your dentist will give you a new retainer every nine to twelve months.
2.Retainer cleaning procedure – Keeping your retainer free of harmful bacteria buildup is instrumental to keeping your teeth healthy after Invisalign. In order to do so, you’ll need to correctly clean your retainer every day.
First, never brush your retainer with toothpaste. Toothpaste is abrasive, and can mark up your retainer or dull it’s shine, leading to bacteria buildup and stained teeth.
Instead, you have a couple of other options. First, you can scrub your retainer thoroughly with soapy water and a toothbrush every day. It’s a simple task, but requires a little bit of work.
If you want to simplify the process, you can purchase tablets that are specially made for keeping retainers clean. Simply drop a tablet in a cup of water each day and place your retainer in the water. The solution will break down any bacteria on the retainer, making it clean and better tasting.
If you opt for the tablet solution, you only have to let the retainer soak for about 10 to 20 minutes to get it clean. However, it won’t harm your retainer should you forget about it and leave it submerged all day.
3. Schedule Regular Dental Checkups – Regular dental checkups are important for everybody, but especially for former Invisalign patients.
During a checkup, a dentist will examine your bite to check if your teeth are becoming crowded or shifting. They’ll also ask how your bite feels, focusing on how well the teeth clamp together and the bite’s stability.
Should a dentist notice your teeth shifting out of place, he or she will evaluate your retainer for any damage or natural wear to determine if you need a new one. Also, your teeth may need to be polished or reshaped to reestablish a stable bite.
While they’re minimal, your obligations don’t entirely end with your Invisalign treatment. If you want to keep the straight teeth and beautiful smile you’ve always wanted, make sure to wear your retainer every night, clean it properly and schedule regular dental checkups.
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