How to Take Care of Your Teeth After Using Spark Aligners
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. It’s especially critical for teenagers to stay faithful to their post-treatment plan. This is because teens’ bodies continue to grow well into their 20s, which means their teeth are more likely to shift if the proper care is not taken.
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 weeks, not years. 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. With a removable retainer, you are able to clean it the same way you cleaned your clear aligners. 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 vinegar.
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.
Avoid Sticky Foods, Tobacco, and Other Bad Habits
Whether you have a permanent or removable retainer, avoiding sticky foods, tobacco, and other bad habits is essential for dental care. Sticky foods like gum, hard candies, and caramels can stick in your teeth, causing cavities in your newly straightened smile. If your post-treatment plan includes a permanent retainer, these foods can get stuck in your retainer and potentially damage it. Avoiding these foods as much as possible will help maintain your smile and keep your teeth healthy.
Tobacco use of any kind, including smoking, chewing, or dipping, is harmful to your overall health and can cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums. A few of the most common issues are staining of the teeth and chronic bad breath. If you’re struggling with tobacco use, talk to your doctor about options to curb usage and improve your health.
Other habits, such as nail-biting, chewing ice, drinking carbonated drinks, and more can also affect the health of your teeth. Breaking these habits and going to the dentist often is a great way to be sure your teeth will continue to look their best.
Wear a Mouthguard During Sporting Activities
Many sporting and adventure activities are great for your physical and mental health but can pose risks to your teeth. Taking the proper care when playing high-impact sports like football, basketball, and soccer can decrease your likelihood of incurring mouth trauma. The best way to lessen the impact on your teeth and jaw is by wearing a mouthguard during these sports or other high-impact activities like mountain biking, skiing, and skateboarding. Removable retainers should be taken out before using a mouthguard.
Contact Your Doctor with Any Questions or Concerns
The benefit of doctor-driven aligners like Spark Clear Aligners is having an expert readily available to answer any questions or concerns that may come up after treatment. Stay in touch with your doctor and seek guidance if you experience continual discomfort or notice any other concerns like tooth sensitivity.
Make Caring for Your Teeth Part of Your Routine for Lifelong Health
All of these doctor-driven recommendations will improve the health of your teeth and can help you maintain your newly perfected smile. Our Spark Aligner patients benefit from these and other doctor-recommended habits as part of their smile journey. Spark Clear Aligners are doctor-driven, easy to use, and bring lasting results you can show off for the rest of your life.
Whether you’re battling an overbite, spacing issues, crossbite, or crowding, Spark Aligners can be your solution.* Start your journey to a lifetime of confidence in your smile by finding a Spark Aligner Provider near you today!
*Data on File.