There are a range of exciting technologies in the orthodontics industry which make orthodontic treatment far more comfortable and convenient. Invisalign is one of these technologies which has a range of benefits over traditional braces, and when used in conjunction with fast treatment options such as AcceleDent, normal treatment times can be reduced by between 30 to 50%.
Invisalign uses clear aligners which resemble a super thin mouthguard to move teeth into the desired position. When compared with traditional metal braces, patients receive better oral health because the aligners can be removed which allows patients to easily brush and floss their teeth during treatment. Patients also find this treatment option more lifestyle-friendly considering the aligners can be temporarily removed and are almost invisible to those around them.
Despite this, it’s important for patients to understand that just because they’ve straightened their teeth with orthodontic treatment doesn’t mean they can simply just forget about them! With Invisalign, patients are required to wear a retainer for a period of time after treatment has finished, and today we’re going to take a closer look at these retainers and why they’re so important.
Why do I have to wear a retainer?
During Invisalign treatment, orthodontists use the bone remodelling process to move teeth, bones, and surrounding tissues into an ideal position. Once treatment has finished, the bones and surrounding tissues are still vulnerable and need time to stabilise into their new position. To ensure your teeth don’t relapse into their old position, a retainer must be worn for a specific period of time and this will vary from patient to patient. If patients aren’t diligent about wearing their retainers post treatment, they could potentially undo all the hard work they put in to improve their teeth and smile in the first place.
How frequently will I have to wear my retainer?
Once your Invisalign treatment has finished, patients are required to wear their retainer constantly until their bones and surrounding tissue are stabilised. This commonly takes around a year, but your orthodontist will examine the condition of your teeth every couple of months to ascertain whether this can be reduced. One your teeth are relatively stabilised, patients are only needed to wear their retainers for a few hours each day, or perhaps while they’re sleeping. It is essential to remember that adult teeth continue to shift their position irrespective of whether they’ve had orthodontic treatment, so the longer you wear your retainer, the longer your teeth will remain in their ideal position.
What does a retainer look like?
A retainer looks similar to the Invisalign aligners in that they’re clear, made from plastic. fit comfortably over your mouth and can be temporarily taken out when needed. If you don’t like the concept of wearing your retainer all the time, you can ask your orthodontist for a fixed retainer which is essentially a thin wire that is fixed to the inside surfaces of your teeth. The only downside with fixed containers is that they make flossing your teeth substantially harder.
How will my retainer affect my everyday life?
As discussed, your retainers are very similar to your Invisalign aligners, so you’ll have to remove your retainer when eating, playing sports, brushing your teeth, and flossing. Any time you remove your container, it’s important that you store it safely and adequately clean it again before use. This will ensure that your both your retainer and your oral hygiene stays in a healthy condition.
Keeping your smile radiant
When you’ve had Invisalign treatment, your retainer is designed to keep your teeth in the same position until your bones and surrounding tissues have stabilised. If you wish to continue having beautiful straight teeth, then regular oral hygiene should be practiced every day to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy, and you can smile with confidence for many years to come! If you’re interested in Invisalign or have any questions regarding post-treatment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the friendly team at Clear Smile Orthodontics by phoning 07 5593 3733.