Invisalign is a convenient and effective dental alignment treatment method, allowing people to wear a dental appliance without it disrupting their smile and daily life. Invisalign aligners work similar to braces, properly aligning teeth and enhancing the appearance of the wearer.
Once you achieve your desired results with the use of Invisalign in Saskatoon, it is essential to take the proper measures to maintain the new alignment for years to come. One of the best ways you can achieve this is by wearing retainers specially made by your dentist. Continue reading for a quick introduction to Invisalign retainers, including how to wear them, how often you should wear them and also the best ways to care for them according to your Saskatoon dentist.
What is an Invisalign retainer?
As it is somewhat apparent from the name itself, an Invisalign retainer is a protective retainer you use after completing Invisalign treatment. Invisalign retainers are made of a transparent material and are comfortable to wear.
How often should you wear them?
Just as any customized orthodontic device, factors like how often and how long should you wear a retainer may vary from one user to another. Your dental clinic in Saskatoon that you receive the Invisalign treatment from will be able to provide a more specific answer to this question. However, in general, one has to wear their retainer for a minimum of 12 hours within the first six months after Invisalign treatment is completed. The longer it took for you to correct the misalignment adequately, the longer you need to wear a retainer to maintain the results.
The age of the patient also determines how often one should wear the retainer. If you are looking for a general rule of thumb on how often you should wear your retainer, the following list may help you. Once again, it should be noted that these guidelines may vary according to the complexity of the problem that was treated.
· For the first 3-6 months after completing the Invisalign treatment – 12 to 20 hours a day.
· For the first 6 – 12 months after completing the treatment – During the night time – up to 8 hours.
· Beyond one year after completing the treatment – 3 to 5 times a week.
After you wear a retainer for the first year, observe if there are any changes in the alignment of your teeth. If you feel comfortable wearing it during the night time, it is perfectly fine to continue wearing it for longer. A retainer helps prolong the durability of many dental restoration procedures such as crowns and bridges as well.
How to properly care for your Invisalign retainer
The proper maintenance of your retainer is helpful to achieve the best results for the duration that you wear it and for longer. Since it is exposed to food particles, oral fluids, and bacteria, you need to clean it properly after using it every day just like you clean your teeth. As soon as you remove it from your mouth, use a brush and warm water to clean any debris you see thoroughly. Do not miss any nooks and corners since they may hold tartar and plaque from your teeth that grow bacteria.
A deeper cleaning should be done at least every few days with a mild soap mixed with the warm water. Avoid using toothpaste since the chemicals can be harsh against the Invisalign retainer material. You can use a cotton swab soaked with a cleaning mix to finish off the cleaning. There are products that you can buy to soak the retainers for better cleaning. Make sure you consult your dentist and see if they are fine to use for this specific retainer first though.