You’ve done the work, went through your treatment, and now you have a brilliant, straight, and healthy smile to show for it! Now that you’ve reached your smile goals, it’s important to protect your teeth and all your progress for life – here’s how.
Wear Your Retainer Every Night
Once you’ve finished your last set of clear aligners, your orthodontist will have you come by for a final appointment. They’ll evaluate your smile, declare your treatment truly finished, and then you’ll be fitted for a custom retainer.
In a similar fashion to being fitted for Invisalign, your orthodontist will create a mold of your teeth, and send the mold and any notes to the manufacturer. Once it arrives, make sure you wear your retainer every night while you sleep. This will help maintain all the progress you made during treatment. Teeth can naturally shift over time and become misaligned again, and a retainer helps to stop this from happening and keeps your smile looking just as good as the first day of being Invisalign-free.
Take Care of Your Retainer
Protecting your retainer is just as important as remembering to wear it every night. You should replace your retainer often, usually around once a year to ensure it’s always entirely customized to your needs and doing its job.
Make sure you clean your retainer every night to prevent build-up and bacteria that could potentially be harmful to your oral health. We recommend cleaning with a small amount of antibacterial soap and warm water instead of toothpaste. Toothpaste contains abrasives that can scratch your retainer, and leave room for bacteria to build-up.
Maintain Stellar Oral Hygiene
Now that you have a straight smile for life, you need it to be healthy, too. In order to maintain a high standard of oral hygiene, make sure you’re using the following tips:
- Brush your teeth twice per day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss your teeth at least once daily in conjunction with brushing
- Visit your dentist every six months for your routine hygiene appointments
- Use a soft toothbrush to protect your gums, and brush gently
- Clean your retainer thoroughly to prevent bacteria build-up
Keeping up with your hygiene appointments may be the most crucial part of a well-developed oral hygiene routine. Not only can your dentist clean your teeth and identify areas of your routine that could use improvement, but they also look for potential issues down the road. X-rays, physical, and visual exams are all key components of a thorough check-up. Complete check-ups lead to optimum oral health, high quality of life, and a well-maintained smile and bite!
In order to best protect your oral health, make sure you visit your dentist every six months for a routine check-up, cleaning, and thorough exam. If your dentist feels more cleanings are needed to get you where you need to be, they’ll schedule them accordingly.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Certain foods and drinks can be very hard on our teeth. Sugary and acidic foods should be consumed very infrequently to avoid issues such as staining, cavities, and tooth decay. If you do decide to have sugar, make sure you brush and floss right away to prevent buildup on your teeth and gums.
Make sure you’re getting all the necessary vitamins, nutrients, and healthy fats that contribute to a high standard of oral health. Lean protein, non-acidic fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or dairy alternatives can make a huge difference, along with preventing halitosis.
Enforce A Personal Mouthguard Rule
Many sports don’t mandate mouthguards while playing, meaning you’ll have to hold yourself accountable and always wear one. When looking into getting a mouthguard, custom-fitted ones are usually the way to go. A highly customized fit ensures it won’t fall out during the action, leaving you more susceptible to dental injuries such as tooth loss, bleeding, etc.
Your orthodontist can have you fitted for a mouthguard that, with the proper care, can last a long time. Wearing a mouthguard is an easy and inexpensive way to protect what you’ve worked so hard on!
Care For Your Smile For A Lifetime
While all of these tips are helpful on their own, they all need to be used together in order to truly work. Caring for your new smile will require a lifetime of attention, time, and forethought to protect your investment and your oral health. If you have questions or concerns after your treatment, please give us a call – we’d be happy to continue to guide you.