Invisalign is a dental treatment that straightens misaligned teeth without needing metal braces. It takes anything between twelve to eighteen months to finish an Invisalign treatment. Once completed, you will see that your teeth have moved to align themselves to give you a flawless smile. But the vital thing to remember is that Invisalign post-treatment care is as critical as the alignment process.
Most patients know about the process to follow during the treatment but are unaware of what happens after Invisalign. This article will discuss all you need to know about the next steps after finishing Invisalign treatment. We address patients’ most frequently asked questions at the end of Invisalign Treatment.
What Can I Expect After Invisalign Braces?
Your teeth are held in place by the surrounding jawbone. During an Invisalign treatment, the jawbone softens or goes through a resorption. It enables your teeth to move to their new positions. For a good Invisalign post-treatment result, it is recommended that you wear orthodontic retainers as your body regenerates the jawbone.
The retainers hold your teeth in new positions while your jawbone is restored. The resorption process can take anything between nine to twelve months.
How are the Aligners Removed After Invisalign Treatment?
With Invisalign, you can rest assured that removing the aligners is a simple and painless process. Unlike metal braces, the removal process takes only a few minutes. Your orthodontist also needs to remove small particles of resin from some places. Resin is put in to secure the aligners to your teeth and needs to be scraped off after the Invisalign treatment. Usually, the removal of Invisalign aligners takes around twenty minutes.
Will I Need a Retainer After Invisalign Treatment?
Retainers are needed after all kinds of teeth straightening treatments. Even though Invisalign works differently, after the treatment, retainers are needed for a few months. The retainer prevents your teeth from going back to their old positions. It holds the teeth in place while your jawbone restores itself. Neglecting to wear a retainer after an Invisalign finished treatment can hurt your smile.
How Long Do I Have to Wear the Retainer?
For the first six months after Invisalign, your orthodontist will ask you to wear the retainer for twenty-two hours daily. After that, they may relax the retainer requirement based on a simple examination. You will still need to wear it only at night for the next six months. After that, your jawbone should be entirely or almost completely restored.
However, if you want your teeth to remain aligned in their new position, it is recommended that you continue to wear your retainer at night. At least three nights per week for six more months.
What to Expect One Year After Invisalign?
After twelve months of completing Invisalign treatment, your jawbone should be stable enough to hold your teeth in their new positions. Therefore, you will not need to wear your retainer as frequently as you did in the past twelve months. Teeth slowly change their positions a bit forward and inward as the years go by. It is a natural process that occurs with age. You may notice this change in your teeth after some years, but your teeth will never change positions too drastically after your jawbone heals.
How Should I Care for My Retainers?
Caring for your retainers is essential in the time after Invisalign treatment. As you have to use them for a year, you should ask your orthodontist about the dos and don’ts of wearing a retainer for long hours. Even when you are not wearing the retainer, you should know how to clean and store it well.
Here are some things to keep in mind about caring for your retainers
- Don’t clean your retainer with toothpaste. It is best to scrub your retainer with plain soap and water or use retainer cleansing tablets to clean the retainer. Soap or cleanser also works as a disinfectant that removes any bacteria on your retainer.
- Take extra care when eating or drinking. Whenever you want to eat, take the retainer out of your mouth before you eat your food. After eating, brush your teeth, rinse your retainer and wear it again. If you wear a plastic retainer, do not drink hot beverages, as the heat may melt the plastic and change its shape.
- If you play sports, it is best to use a durable wire retainer. Smoking can turn your retainer yellow, so it is best to avoid smoking when wearing retainers. Avoid chewing gum or eating sticky candy with your retainer on, as it may damage the retainer.
After Invisalign treatment, feel free to ask your questions to the doctor. Follow the instructions given by your doctor to maintain good oral health and experience the best results after Invisalign. They will explain all you need to know about post-Invisalign care.
Dr. Brian Thurman has spent his entire life enjoying all the beauty that California has to offer. A Fresno native, he still escapes to the ocean or the mountains whenever his busy schedule allows. Driven by his love for natural beauty, Dr. Thurman enjoys creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites that last a lifetime. He is proud to be the only Ivy League trained Orthodontist in the Fresno/Clovis area.