When it comes to straightening the teeth, Invisalign® is one of the most popular alternatives to traditional metal braces. Many of our Corpus Christi, TX patients have enjoyed the benefits of this innovative orthodontic solution.
But what happens after treatment is complete? Here, Drs. Charles A. Robertson and N. Perry Orchard offer tips for maintaining your smile after Invisalign treatment.
Wear Your Retainer
In the same way that patients require retention following traditional braces, a retainer must also be worn after Invisalign treatment. In many cases, your retainer may be similar to the clear aligner trays you wore during active treatment.
However, there are other types of retainers, as well. Your doctor will determine which type of retention will work best for your particular situation.
How Often Will I Need to Wear My Retainers?
The answer to this question depends on your unique needs. In some cases, your doctor may recommend wearing your retainer all the time for at least the first year. In other instances, nighttime wear may suffice.
Will I Need to Wear My Retainers for the Rest of My Life?
In short, yes. Your teeth and the supporting tissues are capable of shifting over the course of your lifetime. This is true whether or not you have undergone orthodontic treatment.
Therefore, we always recommend wearing your retainers at least a few times a week for the rest of your life. This is the norm for millions of patients worldwide; it simply becomes part of your oral hygiene regimen.
Clean Your Retainer Properly
To keep your retainers free from harmful bacteria, it is important to clean them properly every day. This can be done using a mild antibacterial soap and toothbrush or special retainer-cleansing tablets.
If you opt for the tablets, you will simply place one in a cup of water along with your retainer. You should never brush your retainer with toothpaste, as it is too abrasive. This can cause micro-scratches in the surface of your appliance.
Attend Routine Dental Checkups
Regular dental cleanings and examinations are essential for everyone. However, they are even more important for Invisalign patients.
During these visits, your doctor will assess your teeth and gums and ensure that your bite is still fitting together properly. If he or she detects any shifting, your retainer will be evaluated for damage or natural wear and tear. These issues are easy to address when your oral health is routinely monitored. If you notice that your retainers are fitting differently, contact your dentist right away to schedule an appointment.
Practice Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits
Professional dental care is crucial to your overall oral health. However, how you clean your teeth at home between visits is just as important. To maintain a healthy smile, be sure to brush at least twice a day and floss once daily. Also consider purchasing an antibacterial mouthwash to help keep your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
Contact Our Corpus Christi, TX Practice Today
Invisalign is an excellent way to achieve straighter, more attractive teeth. Wearing your retainer is the only way to truly maintain your smile’s original brilliance. To learn more about Invisalign aftercare, or to schedule an appointment, contact us online anytime or call our office at (361) 992-3011.