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Life After Your Last Invisalign Aligner

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life after your last invisalign aligner

Congratulations on completing your series of aligners from Invisalign! Your commitment to wearing your aligners for 22 hours a day for the last several months has paid off with a new smile. Now what?

Once you’ve completed Invisalign in NE Calgary, the next step is to get you set up for sustaining your accomplishment. You maintain and preserve your newly aligned smile by wearing a retainer at night to keep your teeth in their ideal positions.

Why is wearing a retainer important?

Over the last few months, Invisalign’s aligners have gradually shifted your teeth into new positions. Once you stop wearing your aligner, your teeth will show a natural inclination to shift out of their new positions.

This happens for several reasons. In teens, your jawbones are still relatively soft and allow your teeth to move fairly easily. In their new positions, your teeth may not be leaning against other teeth the way they used to. That’s a good thing, but it means they may slip back toward their original positions. Finally, the periodontal ligament that is stretched during Invisalign treatment will slowly retract once you stop wearing your aligner, and can move teeth as it does so.

The solution to all those problems is straightforward — wear a retainer when you sleep to maintain your teeth in their new and ideally aligned positions.

Do you need a new retainer after completing Invisalign in NE Calgary?

Whatever you may have heard, wearing your last Invisalign aligner as a retainer is not a good idea. Diligent as you were in cleaning that aligner every time you took it out of your mouth, it gradually became too dirty to use to maintain your brand new smile. Your new smile deserves a fresh retainer. In any event, that last tray was never designed for long-term use to maintain the position of your teeth, just for short-term use while moving your teeth into their final positions.

A dentist in NE Calgary will tell you about your options for the new retainer that you’ll wear at night after completing Invisalign treatment. Your retainer can be a traditional wire retainer, or a clear tray-type retainer much like your Invisalign aligners. Whatever type of retainer you and your dentist in NE Calgary select for your specific needs, you’ll wear it at night from now on, and simply clean it and place it in the provided container during the day.

Caring for your teeth and retainer

Here are some tips to keep in mind to maintain your retainer. After all, it’s the essential element in preserving the hard-won smile you achieved through your commitment to your Invisalign treatment.

  • Now that your Invisalign treatment is complete and even while wearing a retainer, don’t slack off on your daily oral hygiene habits. It’s still important to brush and floss daily. Never eat while wearing your retainer, and always brush your teeth thoroughly between eating and putting on your retainer.

  • Don’t chew gum or chew hard candy while wearing a retainer. Gum will get stuck in any retainer, and chewing hard candy exerts enough force to break a wire in a wire retainer.

  • To preserve the integrity and shape of the material in your tray-type retainer, don’t drink hot beverages like tea or coffee while wearing it. Wait for your drink to cool or, better yet, take your retainer out first.

  • If you smoke, keep in mind that the nicotine and tar produced when smoking can stain teeth, and the clear material that makes up your tray retainer.

Wearing a perfectly fitted and well-maintained retainer will, when paired with ongoing good oral hygiene habits and dental care, help preserve your new ideal smile for a lifetime. Contact a dentist in NE Calgary if you have any questions about Invisalign treatment generally, or about how to preserve your new smile.