Invisalign® has been booming since it was introduced in the 1990s. In fact, this cosmetic dental treatment has straightened more than 15 million smiles, and that number is continually on the rise.
If you’ve recently gone through this series of clear trays, you might be wondering if you can toss them aside and be done with them for good. Unfortunately, if you stop after the initial trays are complete, your teeth might not stay perfectly straight.
At A Caring Dental Group in Cleveland, Ohio, our team, led by Benedict Kim, DDS, we understand that Invisalign requires commitment of your time and finances, so we want to help you get the most out of your investment. In this blog, we discuss the risk of your teeth shifting back out of line after Invisalign.
The movements of your teeth
Even though you can’t ever see it or feel it, your teeth are always on the move. They’re constantly moving and shifting — even the pressure of eating and talking is enough to make your teeth move. What’s even more frustrating is that they don’t stop moving even after you’ve trained them to stand still with your Invisalign treatment.
This happens because your Invisalign takes your teeth away from what they thought was their natural position. So, after you stop wearing the trays, your teeth want to gravitate back to those previous positions.
Things like your oral health can impact the speed at which your teeth shift back. If you have bone loss or struggle with gum disease, your teeth can’t stay anchored in the same position very well.
If your teeth do shift after your Invisalign, know that it’s completely normal. You may find, though, that after your Invisalign is complete, your teeth go back to being just as crooked as they were before you started the treatment.
How to retain your straight smile
The real work is only getting started after you’ve finished going through all your Invisalign trays. Because your teeth and jawbone aren’t used to the new positioning of your teeth, you often need to wear a retainer in order to help them adjust.
As the name suggests, a retainer “retains” your corrected smile by holding your teeth still. The best part is that Invisalign has its own brand of retainers: Vivera retainers. The Vivera retainers are:
While you don’t need to wear a retainer all day like you did with your Invisalign trays, you do have to wear them overnight, every night, for at least a few months. At the beginning, we recommend that you wear retainers full-time for a period. After that, you can gradually start wearing them less until you’re only wearing them at night.
Besides wearing your retainer consistently, some other things you can do to reduce your risk of your teeth shifting include avoiding grinding your teeth and seeing us regularly for checkups. Having a solid oral hygiene routine can also do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy and straight.
If you have any questions about your current Invisalign treatment or if you’d like to learn if you’re a good candidate, contact us for more information. You can do this by giving us a call at 216-446-6977, or you can use our online scheduler to book an appointment today.