Invisalign® is one of the best things to happen to cosmetic dentistry. Since it first hit the market in the late 1990s, the incognito clear trays have fixed over 15 million smiles (and counting).
But what happens when the trays come out at the end of your treatment?
Many think they can toss their trays and walk away with a permanently perfect smile, but unfortunately, teeth have a knack for returning to old habits.
At 2K Dental, we know that cosmetic dentistry services like Invisalign require both a time and financial commitment, so we want to help you get the most out of your investment by discussing the risk of your teeth shifting back out of line after Invisalign.
Your teeth on the move
You can’t see or feel it happening, but your teeth are constantly moving and shifting. Even the pressures from eating and talking are enough to move your teeth ever so slightly. What’s most frustrating is they stay restless even after you’ve trained them to stand still with Invisalign.
That’s because Invisalign moves your teeth from what they considered to be a natural position. Over time, they gradually move back to where they were before treatment.
Sometimes, the health of your gums and jawbone can affect how quickly and dramatically your teeth shift. Bone loss, gum disease, and other oral health problems make it harder for your teeth to stay anchored where you want to after your trays come out.
This shifting is completely normal and even more infuriating, and for some, their teeth look just as crooked as when they started.
Keeping your teeth in line
You may have exhausted your Invisalign trays, but the work’s only just begun. Your teeth and jawbone aren’t yet used to the new positioning of your teeth, so to help them adjust, you often need to wear a retainer.
As the name suggests, a retainer “retains” your corrected smile by holding your teeth still. Invisalign has its own brand of retainers: Vivera retainers. The Vivera retainers are:
- 30% stronger than regular retainers
- Twice as durable as a regular retainer
- Custom-fit for your mouth
You don’t always need to wear a retainer all day like you did with your Invisalign trays, but you typically have to wear them overnight every night for at least a few months. In some cases, we recommend that you wear retainers full-time for a period and then gradually reduce them until you’re only wearing them at night.
You might think that a permanent retainer guarantees no shifting, but you’re just as at risk as your removable retainer friends.
In addition to weaning your retainer diligently, we also encourage you to take steps to mitigate other causes of teeth shifting, like teeth grinding. Seeing us for regular check-ups and staying consistent with your oral hygiene routine can also go a long way in keeping your teeth straight and healthy.
The bottom line
Your teeth are fidgety and fickle, and no matter how hard you try, slight movement is often inevitable. Wearing a retainer and prioritizing your oral hygiene are two key ingredients to keeping your teeth straight for as long as possible.
If you’d like more information about your current Invisalign treatment or if you’d like to see if you’re a candidate, don’t hesitate to call our friendly staff or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve those in the Parma, Akron, Cleveland, and Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio areas.