When you’ve been wearing clear aligners for several months, it can be a truly rewarding experience to hand over your final pair to the dentist. Not only does your smile look more attractive, but basic tasks like brushing and flossing will be much easier and you’ll reduce your risk of jaw and bite problems later in life. With that being said, it’s crucial that you understand the steps to take when practicing aftercare.
Before your treatment began, you probably discussed aftercare with Invisalign in Conyers with the dentist. This list should act as a helpful reminder before you begin!
Know Your Retainer Options
You have two options when it comes to retainers. These include fixed and removable, which both have their own unique characteristics. Fixed retainers consist of a fixed bar that stays there as long as you want your teeth to stay in place. It’s not obtrusive, so others around you won’t see it. It’s fixed, so you won’t ever have to worry about losing it. However, you’ll want to ask the dentist which fixed option is the easiest to clean to avoid any risk of decay or gum disease later.
Removable aligners can be either a traditional wire, also known as a Hawley retainer, or a clear retainer that looks much like an aligner tray. Both are comfortable and effective at retaining teeth while still being mostly invisible to those around you.
How to Care for Your Retainers
To care for your retainers, it’s crucial that you clean them daily. The methods you choose will vary depending on the one you choose.
- Fixed retainers require thorough brushing around the wire at least twice a day. Purchase an interdental toothbrush for easier cleaning.
- Removable retainers should be soaked twice a day in cleaning solution for at least 15 minutes. Use either Invisalign’s cleaning crystals or another recommended product from the dentist. Remove them when eating or drinking foods other than water to prevent damage.
- Never use hot water to soak aligners as this can warp their shape and require you to replace them. Do not let your retainers sit in direct heat.
- If your retainer doesn’t fit correctly, visit the dentist for adjustments.
- Keep your retainer away from pets.
- Remove your retainers when playing contact sports. Wear an approved mouthguard if you’re using a fixed option.
Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene and Care
You should still be practicing daily oral care, including brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing daily. Consider adding a fluoride mouthwash if you think you’re at higher risk of decay. Visit the dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. This will give them a chance to confirm your teeth are not shifting back to their crooked position.
On top of oral care, it’s important to keep a balanced diet that’s high in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, grains, proteins and complex carbohydrates. Keep sweets and starches to a minimum as these are direct contributors to plaque development.
With these tips in mind, your Invisalign aftercare should be a breeze. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact a cosmetic dentist in Conyers and schedule an appointment!
About the Author
Dr. Priyanka Seekand earned her dental degree from the Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry. During her time as the Chief Resident at the Albert Einstein Medical Center, she gained additional experience in the diagnosis and management of complex cases. Since then, she’s expanded her dental knowledge in many topics, including cosmetic dentistry. To learn more about her practice or teeth whitening treatments, you can contact her through her website.