When it’s time for your children to have their teeth straightened, there are several options to consider, one of the most popular of which is the Invisalign treatment. This treatment is a technologically-advanced form of teeth straightening that allows your child to wear clear, plastic aligners as opposed to metal brackets, making for a much more appealing look. You might wonder about what comes after wearing these aligners for months or years, as there are several guidelines you’ll need to follow in order to keep your teeth straight once you stop wearing the aligners.
How to Identify When treatment is Over
Some patients believe that they can save money or time wearing the Invisalign aligners by not continuing to use them once their teeth are no longer visibly misaligned or crooked. It’s important, however, to only stop wearing your aligners once you’ve been given the approval to do so by your orthodontist, as some misalignments aren’t automatically noticeable unless viewed by an orthodontist, which means that your teeth won’t be in their proper position, potentially causing the development of future problems. When using Invisalign, the movements occur rapidly, so you’re going to want to check with your orthodontist on a regular basis to identify whether or not you can stop wearing the aligners.
As opposed to metal brackets, Invisalign wearers benefit from the fact that there’s no need for a separate procedure to remove the braces, as Invisalign consists entirely of removable trays. Once your orthodontist has given you the go-ahead that you can stop wearing your aligners, you can simply remove them and move on to the next phase of treatment, such as wearing a retainer. However, some people who use Invisalign will have been provided with a small amount of resin that’s designed to keep the aligners attached more securely. If this is the case with you or your child, this resin will need to be removed, but the accompanying procedure only takes a few minutes to complete.
What Your Teeth Should Look Like Once Treatment is Completed
Once you’ve progressed through the Invisalign treatment and are no longer wearing your aligners, your teeth should appear completely straight without any crowding or noticeable gaps. No matter what your tooth issue was at the beginning of Invisalign, such as misalignment, crooked teeth, twisted teeth, or crowding, these issues shouldn’t be present in any way, allowing you to smile assuredly with the knowledge that your teeth are straight.
How Long a Retainer Should Be Worn
Following the conclusion of your Invisalign treatment, you will most likely be required to wear a retainer in order to keep your teeth from shifting back to their previous and misaligned position. Although most patients don’t enjoy the thought of wearing a metal retainer, it’s necessary to do so after treatment because the bones in your jaw have yet to harden after the movements, meaning that they can move back to their old position. As you wear the retainer, these bones will harden, expediting the time in which you will be required to wear the appliance. Another added benefit of Invisalign is that you have the option of wearing a metal retainer or clear retainer tray after your initial treatment is complete.
It’s recommended that you wear your retainer for at least 22-23 hours every day though you can remove it when necessary for brushing, flossing, and eating. This is typically necessary for the first six months following treatment. After this time period, you usually only need to wear the retainer every night as opposed to during the day, which is another phase of treatment that tends to last anywhere from 6-9 months. Once the retainer has been worn for a little over a year, you can switch to doing so for just a few times each week at night. This should be continued for the rest of your life in order to keep your smile perfectly aligned and straightened.
Are Additional Teeth Straightening Procedures Necessary?
When you’ve finished wearing aligners, the only care that’s necessary is for you to continue practicing good oral hygiene on a daily basis. It’s important that you brush and floss at least twice daily, making sure that the toothpaste you use is comprised of fluoride for better whitening. Staining is common among Invisalign wearers who don’t immediately go back to practicing good oral hygiene, which might require you to schedule a tooth whitening appointment with your orthodontist.
When to Visit the Orthodontist Following Treatment
Everyone who wears braces or Invisalign looks forward to the day when they no longer need to visit their orthodontist on a regular basis. While the frequency of these visits lessens, you’ll still need to visit your orthodontist from time to time. The most important visits should occur a few weeks following treatment and around 6-9 months later, as your progress will need to be checked in order to ascertain whether or not the treatment was completed successfully.
Call Papandreas Orthodontics to Schedule Your First Orthodontic Appointment
Dr. Samuel Papandreas provides expert orthodontic care for adults, teenagers and children at his facilities in:
• Brunswick, Ohio
• North Royalton, Ohio
His patients are fitted with customized orthodontic devices that include:
• Braces – color-matching ceramic or metal devices
• Retainers – worn at night when your braces are removed
• Invisalign aligners – clear plastic devices
• Palatal expanders – worn before your orthodontic treatment begins
You can schedule an appointment with Papandreas Orthodontics to learn about the best type of orthodontic treatment for you and your children to improve your smile correct your dental bite.