It takes dedication to wear clear aligners often enough, but patients need to know what to do afterward. However, without the right after-treatment care, the teeth might begin to shift. That undoes the work of the clear aligners. That means the patient will need to have a retainer after the aligners come off.
Wearing the retainer often
A retainer can keep the tension over the teeth, preventing them from shifting. The teeth often do go back to the original locations if the patient does not wear a retainer. That is why many patients choose clear aligners to begin with. They might want the treatment after not wearing retainers after the first teeth-straightening treatment.
The patient needs to wear the retainer each night for the rest of their life. That is not as hard as it seems since the retainer is not invasive. Each retainer is similar to the aligners during treatment, but it only has to be worn during the night. Plus, the retainers can protect the teeth from grinding during the night. Still, the retainers can begin to wear down. That means the patient might need to have a new retainer every year or so.
Caring for a retainer
It is essential to keep the retainer free from damaging plaque and bacteria. That allows the teeth to stay healthy after the treatment. It requires cleaning the retainer well each day. It is critical to avoid cleaning the retainer using toothpaste. It is abrasive, meaning it can scratch the retainer. A rough surface is suitable for bacteria, and the roughness will also reduce the retainer’s shininess.
There are a few cleaning options. Patients might use a soft toothbrush and soap to scrub the surface of the device. Patients can also get retainer-cleaning tablets. Patients can place the tablet in some water and leave the retainer there for a while.
The solution removes bacteria and plaque on the retainer, allowing the patient to clean it. It also makes the retainer smell and taste better. When using a tablet, the patient only needs to allow the retainer to soak for 20 minutes. Still, it does not harm anything to leave the retainer there most of the day.
Having retainer checks
It is critical for everyone to have regular dental appointments, but even more so for retainer patients. The dentist can look over the patient’s bite to see if the teeth are moving around. The dentist might ask what the bite feels like and see if the teeth meet. If the patient notices shifting, they may look over the retainer for damage. If necessary, the patient can get a new one made up.
Making your appointment for clear aligners
Even after getting clear aligners, a patient’s obligations do not end. Patients will want to maintain the results and keep the teeth straight. That means it is essential to wear the retainer regularly. Cleaning it will keep the teeth clean while wearing it. The patient should also visit the dentist regularly for checkups.
Request an appointment or call SmileWell Family Dentistry at 310-904-6375 for an appointment in our Torrance office.
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