Alpharetta, GA – You dedicated several months to working hard to ensure your smile could be straight at the end of your Invisalign treatment. But just because you may not be required to visit your orthodontist or wear your aligners any more, don’t think your work is finished.
“Sometimes, patients may think that when they leave my office once they complete Invisalign or have braces removed, the work is over and their smile is now straight forever,” says Dr. Nima Hajibaik. “As wonderful as that would be, it simply isn’t the case, and if you don’t follow after treatment guidelines, you might find your teeth shifting back to their old locations.”
The first thing to know is that your smile won’t be completely stable as soon as your treatment ends. It will take time for your mouth, and the ligaments and tissues, to adjust to their new locations. This is why your orthodontist will direct you to wear a retainer. It is important that you wear the retainer as prescribed by your orthodontist.
Failing to wear your retainer can cause your teeth to shift right back to where they were before your treatment began. And Dr. Nima says this is often why Alpharetta patients turn to him for Invisalign treatment in the first place.
“I often treat adult patients who say they wore braces in their teen years, but then didn’t wear their retainer the way they should have,” says Dr. Nima, who is a certified Invisalign provider. “And over time, their teeth shifted and they wanted to improve their smiles once again.”
In fact, initial shifting of the teeth can happen in as little as 24-48 hours without a retainer. Commit to wearing your retainer as your orthodontist prescribes, and you can keep your smile straight and able to function ideally.
It’s also important that you commit yourself to proper oral hygiene and maintain regular checkups with your orthodontist. Tooth loss is the primary reason why teeth shift, and periodontal disease is the number one cause for tooth loss.
“It’s important to commit to a proper routine of brushing and flossing each day,” says Dr. Nima. “Invisalign treatment required a lot of work on your part, and you want to be able to enjoy the beautiful new smile that you worked so hard for. Failing to brush at least twice daily and floss once a day, and visit your dentist twice a year, can put your teeth at risk for decay and gum disease.”
Regular checkups with your dentist will ensure that your teeth are healthy and that your bite is still correct. Your dentist will be able to tell if your teeth are shifting over time, and if needed, can create a new retainer for you to ensure your teeth can reestablish a stable bite.
If you want to keep your newly straight and properly functioning grin, your work doesn’t end just because your Invisalign treatment is over. Take proper care of your teeth, wear your retainer as prescribed, and don’t hesitate to ask your orthodontist questions about how to maintain your new smile.