Invisalign treatment is an easy and comfortable way to fix crooked and misaligned teeth. Treatment can be completed in under two years, and the results can last a lifetime. In order to keep your teeth looking great after Invisalign, follow these four steps:
1. Choose a type of retainer.
After your Invisalign treatment has concluded, you'll need to wear a retainer so your teeth don't shift back to their original positions. You'll have a few different types of retainer to choose from. Metal retainers are traditional, and they have the advantage of being very durable. However, you may prefer to stick to the clear aligners that you used throughout your Invisalign treatment. If you select this type of retainer, your orthodontist will give you a final clear aligner to be used as a retainer. If you don't want to worry about keeping track of your retainer, you can have a retainer wire bonded to the inside of your teeth. This wire is discrete and permanent, so you won't have to remember to put your retainer on at night.
2. Wear your retainer as directed.
Your retainer can only do its job if you remember to use it. Wear your retainer as directed by your orthodontist. Immediately after your Invisalign treatment, you may be directed to continue wearing your clear aligners at all times. In general, you will only have to do this for a few weeks. This adjustment period will help your teeth settle into their final position. As time passes, you will be able to cut back on wearing your retainer. Eventually, you'll only have to wear your retainer at night while you sleep.
3. If you forget, get back to your routine.
Life can get hectic, and you may eventually forget to wear your retainer one night. If that happens, put your retainer on as soon as you remember. Teeth can shift back to their original positions quickly, but one or two days of skipping your retainer shouldn't cause any lasting damage. The most important thing is to get back to your routine as quickly as possible.
4. See your orthodontist if your retainer no longer fits.
If you forget to wear your retainer for too many nights in a row, you may find that your retainer no longer fits. If you can't get your retainer on easily, don't try to force it. Instead, make an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible. They may want to start you on a shorter Invisalign treatment to realign your teeth once again.