Invisalign is fast becoming the go-to option in the field of orthodontics. In this article, we will see all that caring for yourself after the treatment process is complete.
Invisalign treatment does not end after removing your aligners. The period when you are wearing aligners is as known as the phase of active treatment. After this phase, more work needs to be done to ensure that the effect of the aligners is permanent. This period of doing more work is known as the retention phase and it helps to make sure that your new smile is perfected. Invisalign teeth are the teeth formed after using series of aligners for a long time. It might seem impossible when you think of it, but the teeth can move from one position to another by constantly applying pressure to the teeth over time. However, especially in youths, after using aligners to position the teeth in the right place, if you do not hold the teeth in their new position, there is the possibility that they will return to their initial position. Invisalign dentistry does not seal the teeth in a position so you must hold the teeth and this is why the second phase of teeth alignment Invisalign – the retention phase – is important.
A retainer is used to hold the teeth in the retention phase and this allows the teeth to “get familiar” with the gums and the jaw bone for some time till it can hardly drift off anymore. Retainers are very common in Invisalign dentistry and your orthodontist or dentist will recommend it to you as soon as you are about to end using your aligners. Initially, you will get to use the retainers throughout the day for a short while but after some time, you will only need to wear them when you want to sleep at night, and in the end, you are alone with your nice teeth and amazing smile. If you think about it, it is worth the wait.
Some people wear their last aligners as retainers but aligners and retainers do different jobs so one won’t do the work of the other because aligners are designed to work for a short time while retainers work for long. After the first phase of teeth alignment Invisalign, you should not be hasty and neglect retainers. Two types of retainers are used by dentists for the retention phase – fixed retainers and removable retainers.
Fixed retainers are attached to the back of the teeth and permanently holds your teeth in the new position. An advantage of fixed retainers is that people do not see and you can remove it whenever you want to clean it. The retainer can be placed behind your bottom teeth if you had crowding or any other problem in your bottom teeth before the treatment. However, if the treatment was used to close gap teeth, the retainers will be placed behind your upper teeth.
This type of retainer can last for years and they come in two forms – traditional wire retainer and clear retainer. The wire retainer is also known as Hawley retainer and the clear retainer is also called 3D retainer. The wire retainer is placed against the roof of the mouth and the wire is wrapped around the teeth. Generally, they are not visible but the wires can be seen. The clear retainers are similar to the aligners and most people choose this retainer because it looks like what they have been used to.
Taking care of your retainers
Retainers do not require much maintenance, however, there are a few things that you need to do. Brush the retainer daily with a soft toothbrush and do not use toothpaste. You can also make use of solutions used for cleaning retainers. Handle your retainers with care so they do not break or get lost. When you want to perform any outdoor sports, take off your retainers and wear them after the sports. Cleaning retainers will help you remove food particles that can be caught in the retainers. These particles can cause tooth decay or gum diseases which anyone would want to avoid at all cost.