Before Invisalign treatments, patients with crooked teeth had braces that were very noticeable and not too attractive. These helped to straighten teeth over time but ended up hurting the people who wore them and had to stay in their mouths and be adjusted frequently. The most they could do to make them aesthetically pleasing is to change the rubber bands in their mouths to different colors every time they went in for an adjustment.
Luckily these days, Invisalign exists and you no longer need to wear ugly, bulky braces anymore. They slip right on your teeth and are not very noticeable due to their clear design. Looking at before and after Invisalign pictures are a great way to see the difference in straightening teeth, but what do you do after you finish the treatment?
After Treatment Care
It is important to do the correct after treatment care for your teeth, so they do not shift and go back to being crooked. Straightened teeth will naturally shift over time, but if you do not care for your newly straightened teeth properly, they will start to shift back to the way they were. You need to make sure you follow the below steps to ensure your teeth stay as straight as they can be.
Wear That Retainer
Retainers may seem annoying at first, but they will help your teeth to stay in place. It helps to maintain that tension on your teeth that the Invisalign had when it was being used in your mouth. Continue to wear your retainer overnight and keep those beautifully aligned teeth in order. You will have to keep this up every night after Invisalign treatment is over, or you will risk your teeth falling back into their old habits.
A lot of people that do the treatment seem to think once they finish Invisalign, they are done. This, however, is not true, because you need to keep wearing your retainer at night for the rest of your life. This will ensure your teeth will stay in place and not shift back to their crooked state. This is very important to note, as the retainer can also help with normal wear and tear while you are sleeping.
This may include if you grind your teeth at night and other issues you may have overnight. However, your retainer will need to be replaced every nine to twelve months due to wear and tear as well. Keep your teeth straight and make sure that the retainer stays in the best shape possible.
Clean That Retainer
Great, now that you are wearing your retainer every night, are you also cleaning it? Even if you brush your teeth before bed, your retainer can harbor a lot of bacteria if not properly cleaned every day. However, you do not want to clean it like you clean your teeth, because the abrasive toothbrush and toothpaste combination can ruin the retainer itself.
Make sure when you clean your retainer, you use soapy water and a soft toothbrush the clean off the bacteria. You can also buy tablets that you can soak your retainer in, by putting them in water and letting it soak for ten to twenty minutes. You can even let them soak during the day when you are not wearing them as well. These tablets mix with water and break down bacteria that remain on the retainer, which will help with the taste and keeping it cleaner.
Brush and Floss Your Teeth
This usually goes without saying, but before and after Invisalign, you need to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. To keep your teeth healthy after the procedure, you need to keep brushing and flossing your teeth to keep your gums from getting gingivitis. This is very important, as teeth are more likely to shift more often when there is something wrong in your mouth, such as if you have periodontal disease.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and extreme shifts in your straightened teeth. This can make your breath smell and your teeth can get crooked again and fall out. It can also cost more insurance-wise to get your teeth cleaned because of these preventable diseases. How do you prevent them? By flossing and brushing your teeth, of course.
Use a Mouthguard
Do you play sports or any other physical activities that can cause dental damage? These can include full contact sports such as football or just basic bicycling during the summer, but you need to remember to wear a mouthguard to protect those newly aligned teeth of yours during these activities. This is because if you fall, get hit in the mouth, or otherwise, you get injured, and that damage can cause a shift in the straightness of your teeth.
Not all the sports you may play will require a mouthguard, so you need to decide that for yourself. But it is important to do so because damage to your teeth can cause you multiple trips to the dentist and that can end up being costly.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Of course, the most important thing is to get regular dental checkups every 6 months. Keep your appointments and see your dentist regularly. Especially if you have had the Invisalign treatment, seeing your dentist is important for him or her to check your teeth for any shifting.
They will also check your teeth and your bite for any crowding and check the stability of your bite. They will also note how well your teeth sit when closed together as well as making sure your teeth are still straightened. If they notice your teeth have shifted, even a little bit, they may need to reevaluate that retainer you are using and see if it needs to be replaced.
The dentist will also check to see if your bite is not stable, and if so, what they need to do to get your bite back to the way it should be. They may need to polish or fix your teeth to get your bite back to normal.