This is the first and probably most critical advice that we will give our recent Invisalign patients. No matter which orthodontic treatment option you chose, Dr. Jaffe will fit your teeth for a retainer that you MUST wear consistently following your treatment in order to keep your pearly whites in place. Whether retainers are permanently bonded to the inside of your teeth or they are designed to fit over your teeth and can be removed when eating, you’ll want to make sure you keep a retainer in after orthodontic treatment. If you don’t, there’s a really good chance that your teeth will move back to their original place, wasting not only all of your time and money but ruining your perfect smile.
Retainers keep your teeth from moving back to their original positions in your mouth. Even though your teeth have been moved into place, your jawbone and the tissue surrounding your teeth take more time to stabilize. The thin metal band and BPA-free plastic appliances wrap around and fit over your teeth to secure them in place.
How long you will need to wear your retainer depends on your age and your individual case but could be up to a year or longer. Once your teeth are moved into their correct position, new bone begins to grow around the tooth which helps to hold it in place. This bone remodeling can take some time – between nine and 12 months, or longer if your treatment was longer or more extensive. For younger patients, retainers are normally used until the wisdom teeth come in or are extracted. For adults, and as younger patients age, you will find that your teeth will naturally shift. After the first year, wearing your retainer at least periodically [often overnight a few times a week] for the rest of your life can help prevent this from happening.
Dr. Jaffe will most certainly advise you to wear your retainer all the time for the first several months or up to a year to make sure your teeth don’t relapse. Once your teeth have stabilized, he will reassess and may suggest you change to wearing your retainer only at night or for only a certain number of hours.
Just like your Invisalign aligners, you will want to clean your retainer when you take it out. Our friendly Portsmouth or Barrington office staff will happily show you how to care for your retainer to keep it lasting long after your Invisalign treatment. When not wearing your retainer, make sure you store it away in your enclosed cover to keep it safe from breaking.
It’s just as important to keep up with your oral health habits AFTER your Invisalign treatment as it was during. Now that you have the smile you’ve always wanted, you’ll want to keep it free from cavities and shining white. Brush after each meal or at least twice a day and floss at least once a day to keep food particles and plaque from building and causing gum disease and tooth decay. If your teeth are sensitive after treatment, Dr. Jaffe will recommend a special toothpaste for you to use to help relieve the discomfort. You can also try a warm salt water rinse to alleviate any sensitivity. You can also ask us about professional whitening treatments if your teeth are stained.
Another way to treat your new, healthy smile right is to continue visiting your dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings. These visits give your dentist a chance to evaluate your teeth with X-rays and a visual exam and to take care of any spots of tooth decay. It’s also a chance for your dental hygienist to clean and polish your teeth removing plaque and tartar and making them sparkle and feel great. It’s also important to remember that having poor oral hygiene has been linked to many other serious health issues.
If you’ve been thinking of beginning orthodontic treatment and want to learn more about the Invisalign difference, contact Dr. Jaffe right away and schedule your first appointment. Your first visit is always complimentary and gives Dr. Jaffe a chance to examine your individual situation and determine if you are a good fit for Invisalign treatment. Choose from our conveniently located offices in Portsmouth, RI or Barrington, RI, where you’ll find a comfortable and inviting office filled with friendly and knowledgeable staff. We look forward to meeting you!
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