Invisalign® is a revolutionary orthodontic treatment that makes it possible to have straighter teeth and a more beautiful smile without the use of traditional metal braces. Invisalign® uses clear aligner trays to gradually change the position of the teeth and enhance the smile.
In order to maintain the beautiful results of Invisalign® treatment, it's important to properly care for your teeth. At Signature Smiles, Drs. Cristin Dowd and Ken D. Wu offers these tips on maintaining your smile after Invisalign® treatment. For more information, contact our Woodinville, WA office today.
Wear a Retainer
During Invisalign® treatment, the teeth are gradually repositioned by the gentle force applied by Invisalign® aligners. Over time, this pressure causes the jawbone and ligaments supporting the teeth to change shape, making the teeth straighter.
Once Invisalign® treatment is done and aligners are no longer needed, it's important that a retainer is worn to keep the teeth in their new desired positions.
The amount of time a retainer needs to be worn will vary by each person's needs. Generally, retainers need to be worn day and night for a short period of time after treatment is completed. Eventually, most people will be able to wear their retainer only at night to maintain the position of their teeth.
It's important to wear a retainer as directed otherwise the teeth can and often will shift back toward their old positions.
Brush and Floss
In addition to wearing a retainer, brushing and flossing is one of the most effective ways to maintain a beautiful smile after Invisalign® treatment. Regular brushing and flossing can prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems, helping to keep the smile looking and functioning at its best.
It's recommended that patients brush their teeth at least twice a day, preferably after breakfast and before bed. When brushing, using a fluoride toothpaste can further prevent cavities. It's best to brush for a full two minutes, making sure to cover all surfaces of the teeth.
The teeth should be flossed at least once a day, either at night or the morning. When flossing, it's important to sweep the floss up and down several times along each side of each tooth. The floss should be brought as far along the gum line as possible.
Wear a Mouthguard When Playing Sports
Oral injuries can cause tooth loss or damage the teeth. While it's not possible to protect the teeth from every unforeseen accident, steps can be taken when participating in activities, such as contact sports and skateboarding, that increase the risk of oral injury.
The most effective way to protect the teeth is to wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards can be found in sporting goods stores, sports departments of big box stores, or may be custom-made by a dentist.
Eat Healthy Foods
Eating a healthy diet can help you maintain a beautiful smile. A diet that consists of a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat dairy can help provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals, which is important to oral health.
In addition to eating healthy foods, avoiding or limiting sugary foods and drinks is a good way to further reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
See Your Dentist for Regular Checkups and Cleanings
Regular checkups and cleanings are a key component of maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile after Invisalign® treatment. Regular checkups and cleanings make it possible to catch and treat oral health problems early. It can also prevent many issues, such as gum disease and tooth decay, from developing.
Schedule a Consultation
For more Invisalign® aftercare tips, or to find out if Invisalign® treatment is right for you, we welcome you to call our team at (425) 489-1177 to schedule a consultation.