If you’re like most dental patients who have recently removed your set of Invisalign aligners for the last time, you probably can’t get enough of that gorgeous set of teeth smiling back at you in the mirror — and you deserve every second of it. Naturally, you hope that the results of your treatment last for the rest of your life, and fortunately, you can make this happen. However, there are aftercare aspects of Invisalign Burlington residents should be aware of so they can increase their chances of keeping that straight, beautiful smile for a lifetime. Here’s what you need to know:
You’ll Need to Wear a Retainer
Wearing a retainer for a prescribed period of time after the Invisalign aligners are removed. As the name implies, retainers are used to help retain your newly minted gorgeous smile by ensuring they don’t shift back into their former position. This is referred to as the “retentive phase,” and the retainers are designed to hold the teeth in place as the underlying tissues reorganize themselves around the new position of the teeth. The average length of time that’s recommended is six months, with most people wearing them full-time for short periods of time before only wearing them at night while they sleep. Unobtrusive permanent retainers, called fixed retainers, are also available. Unlike their removable counterparts, these remain on the teeth. It is very important to practice exceptionally careful oral hygiene so that bacterial buildup doesn’t occur around and under the retainers.
Without the retentive phase, your teeth will shift back to their former position in your mouth, and you’ll have the investment you made in your smile and have to begin the process all over again from the start. Keep in mind that no competent orthodontist will tell you that the retentive phase is not necessary.
How to Care for Your Retainers
Even though modern retainers are made of durable materials, it’s nonetheless recommended that they are handled with care. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean them gently-but-thoroughly, and if your orthodontist has recommended the removable variety, give them a good soaking periodically in a cleaning solution specifically designed for use on dental products. It’s also essential to remove removable retainers before eating and drinking and to be particularly mindful that hot food and beverage items may cause stains or other damage.
Taking a big-picture approach to good dental health is also important for those who’ve invested in straight teeth. Be sure to schedule an appointment for an examination and routine cleaning at Dentistry at the Grove once every six months or as otherwise recommended by your dentist. We handle all aspects of family dentistry, including bridges, crowns, and implants. Best of all, our offices don’t have that unpleasant clinical ambiance — you’ll feel like you’re visiting family. If it’s been a long time since you’ve visited a dentist, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise.