how to maintain your smile after your clear aligner treatment concludes

You’ve done it; after months, maybe even a year or two, your clear aligner orthodontic treatment has finally concluded, and you have a beautiful smile to show off to the world. Whether you’ve received Sure Smile, Invisalign, or another form of orthodontic treatment in Millwoods, now comes the aftercare stage of your journey. This means taking deliberate measures to maintain your brand-new smile and keep it healthy. Such actions are necessary; otherwise, you may need to return to your dentist for follow-up refinement treatments.

Our team here at Agape Dental is on your side; whatever you require to preserve your oral health and hygiene, we can help. Book an appointment today.

Post-Orthodontic Treatment Tips 

Looking after your smile is a necessity if you want to experience a lifetime of good health and wellness. Even though it is important to practice good habits before and after any dental treatment, when it comes to lengthier or more complex services, like orthodontic care or endodontic (root canal) surgery, it is even more so. Being diligent will ensure that you maintain your newly aligned smile and keep your teeth straight and healthy.

Outlined in detail below are some strategies to help you maintain your rejuvenated smile:

    1) Retainers are Non-Negotiable

Your dentist will let you know that you must wear a retainer as soon as your treatment is over. Although this may not sound exciting, it is one of the most important things you can do to preserve the progress your teeth have made, especially if it’s taken a few years to achieve. A retainer is a device that, as its name indicates, retains the changes of orthodontic treatment, keeping your teeth from regressing to their original unhealthy positions. Depending on your case, your dentist can recommend different types of retainers, including removable or fixed devices.

The length of time you will need to wear your retainer will vary. Daily use is common for most patients; eventually, your dentist may inform you that only nighttime wear is needed. Regardless of the timeframe, listen to your dentist and be consistent.

    2) Keep Your Retainer Clean

Caring for your retainer and keeping it clean, dry, and in a safe place is just as important as wearing it. Because the appliance spends a lot of time in your mouth, washing it of bacteria and other harmful particles is necessary, or debris can build up. Every time you brush your teeth, ensure you brush your retainer with a very soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that does not contain any whitening. You can also clean your appliance with a vinegar-and-water mixture. There are also professional cleaners made specifically for retainers. Using these will kill the bacteria and keep the retainer fresh. If your retainers start to smell or look cloudy, these are signs that it’s time to clean them.

    3) Practice Hygiene Daily

Cleaning your smile every day is one of the best things you can do to keep your teeth, gums, and bones healthy and functional. This entails brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. By doing this, pockets of plaque, food debris, and bacteria are eliminated and won’t have the chance to amalgamate in the grooves of and between your teeth. The recommended routine is to clean your teeth twice a day, usually in the morning and before bed – but if you can do so more often, that is always beneficial.

Rinsing with water after eating or drinking (namely dark liquids like coffee or soda) can help wash away excess sugars that linger after meal and snack times. This can also prevent stains. Being mindful of your hygiene practices and carving out a few minutes of your day to brush your teeth will go a long way towards maintaining your smile.

    4) Use a New Toothbrush

Toothbrushes are accessible, valuable tools in the fight against dental problems, but they are not meant to last forever. The general rule of thumb is that you should swap out your old toothbrush for a newer one every three months or so. The bristles become worn and frayed from repeated use and won’t fully clear away debris.

You can purchase a regular or electric toothbrush. Everyone’s preferences are different, although studies have shown that electric toothbrushes may be more efficient at removing particles. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist. Once you’re done brushing, rinse the brush off and store it in a clean container without a lid.

    5) Eat Healthy 

A balanced diet provides you with the minerals and nutrients your entire body needs to stay in good condition and operate without problems, and this, of course, applies to your smile as well. Fruits and vegetables are natural scrub brushes, clearing away debris already in your mouth like sugars and oils.

Do know that it is perfectly fine to eat sweets or treat yourself occasionally! When you do, just be sure to brush afterwards so that the sugar, fats, and oils don’t linger for a prolonged period, as this can lead to gum disease and enamel erosion.

    6) Attend Routine Check-ups

Just because your orthodontic treatment has ended doesn’t mean you should stop visiting a dentist near you! Although you may not need to see them as often, adhering to your biannual evaluations and cleanings is still crucial if you want to avoid potential complications and address issues before they grow severe. Your dentist will discuss the state of your smile with you and let you know how things are looking when you come in and be able to provide you with tailored guidance. This may entail using fluoride mouthwash or toothpaste, wearing a mouthguard when playing sports or sleeping to manage bruxism, or coming in for x-rays.

With regular check-ups, your dentist and hygienist can monitor the state of your gums and ensure gum recession is prevented or has not worsened. Professional cleaning gets ride of plaque and tartar build-up, which cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone.

If you have any questions or concerns about post-orthodontic tooth care, always make sure you reach out to your dentist or orthodontist. They know your case best and will be happy to assist.

Agape Dental: Your Smile’s Ally 

The staff at our local dental clinic is passionate about smiles, even more so about helping others obtain the smile they’ve always dreamt of. If you’re interested in acquiring orthodontic treatment near you or looking for additional information on hygiene practices, call us today! We look forward to working with you and ensuring your smile remains beautiful.

Talk soon!