WHILE TRADITIONAL WIRE braces are still the most efficient at straightening teeth, fixing crowding, and correcting an underbite or overbite, invisible aligners have become an attractive alternative in recent years. Being able to get all the benefits of braces with such a low-profile appliance that can be removed for brushing, flossing, and eating can make the orthodontic process far more palatable.
But what’s next after you’ve progressed through every aligner tray and your teeth are perfectly aligned? What will it take to maintain the smile you’ve always wanted?
Wear Retainers As Recommended
In some cases, the final invisible aligner tray can be used initially as a full-time retainer and eventually as a nighttime one after the patient’s teeth are correctly aligned. In others, a separate retainer will be recommended, and those tend to be sturdier. No matter what type of retainer you end up with, be sure to follow the care instructions in order to keep it clean and effective as long as possible.
The reason it’s important to use retainers after the teeth are straight is that it can take around a year for the periodontal ligaments–the tiny connective tissue fibers that hold our teeth in place in our jaws–to get used to the new position. Without retainers, your teeth will be in danger of shifting back to the position those ligaments were used to.
Stay On Top Of Your Oral Hygiene
The most important component of post-aligner dental health is how well you take care of your teeth. That means maintaining good habits, such as:
- brushing for two minutes twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush
- flossing daily with traditional floss, interdental brushes, or a water flosser
- avoiding sugary snacks and sodas that supercharge bad oral bacteria
Schedule Regular Dental Visits
No matter how straight your teeth are and how diligently you’re keeping them clean, they still need professional dental care twice a year. Dentists have the equipment and skill needed to clean your teeth thoroughly, take care of anything more extensive when needed, and help you make sure you’re on track with your own oral hygiene habits.
We Can Answer Your Questions!
If you have any questions about how to take care of your teeth post-invisible aligners, we’re happy to answer them. Any questions that pertain to the alignment of your teeth you should definitely bring to us. However, if your questions are more about keeping those teeth clean, your regular dentist can certainly answer them too.
Congratulations on all your hard work to get straight teeth!
AS RECENTLY AS 2012, one fifth of American adults over sixty-five had lost all of their natural teeth. Whether the tooth loss is from age or other causes, it is a problem dentists have been dealing with for thousands of years.
We’re here to help you love your smile again!
Dentures Have Ancient Roots
False teeth have been around in some form since at least 700 B.C., when they were made out of human or animal teeth. Tooth decay became a much bigger problem after the Industrial Revolution when refined sugar became cheap and our intake of it shot through the roof. Because more people were losing teeth, more people needed false ones, and denture technology advanced.
Easily the most famous man who needed dentures back in the day was George Washington. We’ve all heard about his wooden teeth, but they’re actually a myth. He had several sets of dentures, custom made for him from hippo ivory and human teeth, with gold wires and brass screws to hold them together.
Modern Dentures Have Come A Long Way
Today, dentures are typically made of plastics and acrylic resin, but they come in several different types, so let’s look at the main ones.
The Classic: Full Denture
When none of the natural teeth can be saved, a conventional full denture is a common choice. The denture isn’t placed in the patient’s mouth until after the gum tissues have finished healing, which can take several months.
Many people don’t like going so long without teeth, so immediate full dentures can be used in the meantime. Because the bone changes shape over the course of those months, immediate full dentures have the drawback of not always fitting very well, and they can irritate the healing gums.
Want to learn how dentures are made? Check out the video below:
Going Bionic: Implant-Supported Denture
The main drawback with removable dentures is that they do little to prevent the bone loss in the jaws that occurs with tooth loss. Permanent options like dental implants, bridges, and implant-supported dentures do much better at continuing to apply the bite pressure the bone needs in order to stay strong, which preserves the shape of the face. They also make it easier to speak and chew than removable dentures, because they don’t have the risk of falling out.
Take Proper Care Of Your Dentures
All false teeth need regular cleaning to prevent discoloration and plaque buildup, whether they’re removable or permanent. They need to be brushed along with your gums, tongue, and palate. It’s important not to let them dry out, so you should store them in a denture soaking solution or even water when you’re not wearing them—just not hot water. Ultrasonic cleaners will also help keep them clean (but they don’t replace brushing).
Come See Us!
If you are considering dentures, don’t hesitate to talk to us! We can provide any information you need. It can be difficult to have confidence when you have missing teeth, but dentures can let you take charge again.
We’re here to help you love your smile again!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Our blog has recently been set up. Please check back soon!