Taking care of your teeth after the completion of any orthodontic treatment is just as important as it is during the process. Our Spark™ Clear Aligner providers understand that patients want to be sure their teeth look as good as possible. To that end, Spark Aligner providers frequently talk with patients about what to expect during their aligner treatment, from the very first appointment to post-treatment maintenance of teeth for a healthy, beautiful smile.
Once patients reach the end of their aligner treatment, they may think they are done for good. However, there is one final step in the process, called the retention phase, to make sure your teeth stay in their new position. We hope the following care recommendations from our Spark Aligner providers will help those entering this phase of their treatment.
Follow Your Doctor-Prescribed Post-Treatment Plan
Our patients value the doctor-driven aspect of Spark Aligners because they know that they’re getting personalized, expert care, including post-treatment plans that are standard with both aligners and traditional braces. Our doctors provide patients with a maintenance routine tailored to their teeth. Patients who don’t follow their post-treatment plan risk their teeth shifting back to the pre-treatment position, which would require more time and money to correct.
Post-treatment plans will usually include wearing a retainer of some sort, which will either be permanent or removable. Permanent retainers are fixed to the back of your teeth with a specialized oral adhesive. These retainers remain in your mouth for life and ensure your teeth stay in position for easy care. Removable retainers can be made of metal or plastic that’s similar to your clear aligners. If you’re using a removable retainer, you may need to wear it daily or nightly, with the possibility of eventually wearing it less and less. Your doctor will recommend the best options for you to help maintain your smile.
Don’t Substitute Aligner Trays For Retainers
Each Spark Clear Aligners tray is designed to be worn for 1-2 weeks depending on your prescribed treatment. Retainers, on the other hand, are designed specifically for long-term wear and will be slightly different than your last aligner. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations when it comes to retainer usage.
Maintain Your Smile With Proper Dental Hygiene
Keeping up with regular dental care, including brushing teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing once a day, will help keep your smile looking beautiful. Doctors recommend using small, circular motions and being careful not to brush too aggressively as this can damage your gums. Other recommendations from most doctors are to use fluoride toothpaste and be sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
Since a retainer will need to become part of your routine, it is important to know the best ways to clean it depending on which type you have. If you are wearing your retainer during the day, you should make sure to rinse it out between meals. Avoid brushing your retainer using toothpaste, as this can damage the material. Instead, clean your retainer with soap and water, or use a solution of 50 percent hydrogen peroxide and 50 percent water or vinegar1.
With a permanent retainer, you’ll need a small, plastic tool to help thread floss between the teeth for proper cleaning and maintenance. Beyond that, you’ll simply need to pay extra attention while brushing to remove any food that may be stuck.