Reaching the end of your Invisalign treatment plan is a super feeling! After months – maybe more than a year – of orthodontic treatment, you’re finally seeing a beautiful, healthy smile.
Now it’s time to make sure your results last – to make sure that the hard work and expense pay off. That means maintenance.
What happens during the maintenance phase of Invisalign treatment?
No matter what sort of orthodontic appliance you use during active treatment – metal braces, ceramic braces, or Invisalign – you’ll need to wear a retainer to ensure that your teeth stay in their new positions. Without this maintenance phase of treatment, your teeth will gradually begin to shift back to their original positions, and no one wants that!
Cue the retainer.
Your retainer will hold your teeth in place, ensuring that your smile stays healthy and beautiful. Depending on your orthodontic history and specific outcome, we’ll choose a fixed or removable retainer.
- Fixed retainers are usually thin wires that are bonded to the back of your teeth and stay in your mouth all the time. It’s sort of like braces – you don’t take it out – but it’s far less metal and upkeep.
- Removable retainers are used more often and are usually only worn at night while you’re sleeping. Being able to remove the retainer is obviously a bonus, but you’ll need to take care of it so that it continues to work as it should.
How often will I wear a retainer after Invisalign treatment?
Again, this depends on your specific needs. Often, we start with wearing the retainer nearly all day and then start reducing the hours over time. How your teeth respond after treatment is hard to predict, so it’s important to wear your retainer according to the instructions you get from Drs. Jones or DeShon.
Will I need a new retainer?
Make your retainer last as long as possible by (1) using it as directed and (2) taking care of it. If you don’t wear the retainer according to instructions, your teeth will almost certainly begin to shift. That’s when you’ll need a new retainer – or even more.
Other ways to shorten your retainer’s lifespan include:
- Eating while wearing it or drinking anything other than water
- Grinding your teeth at night, which could also cause other problems, so let us know about it.
- Not using the storage container. They get thrown into backpacks and onto the bathroom counter and wind up getting bent out of shape. (It’s also gross.) Dogs like retainers a lot, too.
- Be careful about wearing your retainer to the dinner table, taking it out, and putting it under your napkin. This is how your retainer gets thrown into the garbage.
Will I need to schedule follow-up visits?
At least throughout the retention phase, you’ll need to continue to schedule appointments with us. This is the only way we can monitor the position of your teeth and take early action if needed. Always bring your retainer with you so we can check the fit. And be sure to continue seeing your dentist every six months as well. Gum disease can have a serious impact on the health of your teeth and smile if left untreated.
Make an appointment today!
Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. Remember, we have payment plans for every budget and offer discounts for public employees, including law enforcement, EMS workers, and employees of state and federal government.