Life after clear aligners: Results and post-treatment maintenance
Orthodontic treatment, including clear aligners, is a lifetime commitment – once the initial treatment is complete, you will need to form certain habits in order to maintain your fantastic results.
Clear aligner treatment is an alternative to traditional wire braces. For many, braces are unattractive because they are too obvious for people to see, and their harsh metal structure creates a depressing aesthetic. The main advantage that comes with clear aligners is that the trays are discreet. You get to go through the process of straightening your teeth without everybody seeing it. The trays are made of plastic material, and they can be removed at home by simply slipping them off when you want to and slipping them back on at a later stage. Once the treatment is complete, you will need to wear your retainers consistently in order to maintain the alignment of your new smile.
Retainers are used to retain the position of your teeth, hence the name. The body is continually changing, and that goes for your teeth as well. The clear aligner process will shift your teeth into new positions, but your teeth will naturally drift back to their original positions if they are not stopped by retainers. The good news is that retainers work progressively, so over time, you will become less and less dependent on them to maintain your smile. In the beginning, you’ll need to wear them every night, but eventually, you’ll be able to wear them a few times a week as you see fit.
When the retainers are kept on, daily oral hygiene must be maintained. Good habits like brushing your teeth and flossing remain the same as they would without them. Keep your retainers clean at all times. There is no point in having clean teeth if you are going to wear dirty retainers over them.
Without practising oral hygiene, food and bacteria can build up and lead to cavities and other oral complications, such as tooth discolouration. You can use regular fluoride toothpaste with a soft bristle toothbrush to clean your retainers. To do this, you have to use warm water, not hot or water that is too cold. This mistake can change the shape of your retainers, especially if you leave them to sit in the water for an extended period.
Our Clear Aligners oral hygiene tip:
Always keep a mini toothbrush and toothpaste in your everyday bag so that you can maintain your oral hygiene on the go.