Congratulations! You’ve made it to your last Invisalign aligner, which means that the active part of your treatment is coming to an end, and you can unveil your new smile soon. However, as your active treatment phase is finishing, you’ll be moving on to the next phase of your treatment which is the retention or maintenance stage.
So what exactly do you need to know about this maintenance stage? Keep reading to find out.
What is after-Invisalign maintenance?
Just like many other orthodontic treatments, once the active phase of your Invisalign journey is completed, you will need a form of maintenance in order to ensure that your newly aligned teeth retain their desired position. If adequate maintenance isn’t carried out, your teeth may start to move back to their original misaligned/crooked positions, basically undoing all the hard work that you’ve put in for the treatment.
To enable your teeth to stay in place, you will need to wear a retainer at the end of your Invisalign treatment. Depending on the factors relating to your treatment, your orthodontist may decide to fit you with either a fixed wire retainer, removable clear retainer, or a combination of both (most patients usually require a combination of both).
How often will you need to wear your retainer?
Your orthodontist will give you clear instructions on how to properly wear your retainer. Local Invisalign Surrey providers, Sherwood Park Dental will also advise you on how long the retainers need to be worn. You may need to wear your retainers for 22 hours per day until your orthodontist tells you it’s safe to reduce the number of hours.
As for how long you will need to wear the retainers, there is no simple timeframe. You will need to continue wearing them until your orthodontist tells you otherwise.
Will you need new retainers?
Unlike your aligner trays that had to be changed every few weeks, if you follow your orthodontist’s instructions on how to properly wear your retainer, they should continue to fit and require no replacement. However, if you fail to wear them as directed or don’t wear them at all, chances are one or more teeth will shift and the retainers won’t fit, which could indicate a problem.
Caring for your retainers
With proper care, your retainers should last for many years. Here are some helpful tips for caring for your retainers.
Removable retainers- both sides of your removable retainers should be brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush every day. You can also soak them in retainer-cleaning solution on a weekly basis to give them a deeper clean. Ensure to always take out your removable retainers every time you eat or drink beverages like tea or coffee, as they can warp or stain the retainer. Your retainer should be removed and stored in its case whenever you’re playing sports or not wearing them.
Permanent retainers- permanent retainers should be brushed twice a day. Ensure to brush around the wire well as food particles can easily get trapped, leading to bacteria build-up. Flossing at least once a day is also important. Since permanent retainers are not removable, always wear a mouth guard to protect them from impact while playing sports.
Ensure that you do not try to adjust your retainers by yourself. If they require adjustments, take them to your orthodontist.
Basic oral hygiene
In addition to wearing a retainer after your treatment, a good oral hygiene routine is essential for post-Invisalign maintenance. Ensure that you should brush and floss twice a day and schedule regular checkups with your dentist.
Post-Invisalign maintenance is an important component of the treatment process. The retainer you wear ensures that your newly aligned teeth stay in place, and it keeps your smile healthy for a long period of time. Continue your basic oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly for the best results.