Post-Treatment Care of clear aligners and Retention 

Dr. Hoss Abar

Share This Post

After investing time and money in clear aligners to straighten your teeth, taking care of them properly is important to ensure successful results. Proper post-treatment care of clear aligners and retention is crucial to maintaining your newly aligned teeth. In this last part of the guide, we will explore the steps to take care of your clear aligners and retainers so you can cherish the benefits of a beautiful, straight smile for years. 

Importance of Post-Treatment Care 

Completing your clear aligner treatment is a major milestone on your path to a straighter smile. However, it's very important to understand that the work continues beyond there. Just as proper care during treatment is crucial for achieving optimal results, post-treatment care is equally important for maintaining the alignment of your teeth and preventing any regression. 

  • Preventing Relapse: Without proper post-treatment care, there's a risk of relapse, where your teeth gradually shift back to their original positions. This can undo all the progress made during your treatment period and may require additional orthodontic intervention to correct. 
  • Ensuring Long-Term Results: Clear aligner treatment represents a significant investment of time and resources. To ensure that your investment pays off in the long run, it's essential to commit to post-treatment care practices that will help preserve your results for years to come. 
  • Protecting Oral Health: Proper oral hygiene is essential for preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Post-treatment care includes maintaining good oral hygiene habits and attending regular dental check-ups to address potential concerns promptly. 
  • Optimizing Comfort and Functionality: Clear aligners are designed to improve your smile's appearance and function. Following post-treatment care guidelines ensures that your teeth remain aligned, enhancing comfort and functionality when biting and chewing. 
  • Boosting Confidence: A straight, healthy smile can significantly impact your confidence and self-esteem. By prioritizing post-treatment care, you can cherish the benefits of your new smile for years to come, feeling confident and proud of your appearance. 

Cleaning and Maintenance Guidelines for Clear Aligners 

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your clear aligners are essential for ensuring their longevity and oral health. Here are some guidelines to follow: 

  • Rinse after Removal: After removing your aligners for eating or drinking (except for water), rinse them under lukewarm water to remove saliva and food particles. Avoid using hot water, as it can damage the aligner material. 
  • Brush Aligners Gently: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and clear, antibacterial soap or a non-abrasive clear aligner cleaner to brush your aligners gently. Avoid toothpaste, which can be abrasive and cause scratches, making your aligners more visible. 
  • Soak Daily: To help remove stubborn plaque and bacteria, consider soaking your aligners daily in a denture cleaner or clear aligner cleaning solution. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper usage and duration of soaking. 
  • Brush and Floss Teeth: Always brush and floss your teeth before reinserting your clear aligners to prevent food particles and bacteria from trapping between your teeth and the aligners. 
  • Avoid Colored Foods and Beverages: Minimize consumption of colored foods and drinks such as tea, red wine, and tomato sauce, as they can stain your aligners. If you do consume them, make sure to rinse your clear aligners promptly afterward. 
  • Store Aligners Properly: When not wearing your clear aligners, store them in their case to avoid damage and loss. Avoid placing them in tissues or napkins, as they can easily be mistaken for trash. 
  • Handle with Care: Handle your aligners cleanly to avoid transferring bacteria and dirt. Avoid bending or twisting them, as this can distort their shape and affect their fit. 
  • Attend Routine Check-Ups: Keep up with your scheduled dental check-ups to ensure your treatment progresses and address any issues. 

Understanding the importance of retainers  

It is vital to wear retainers to ensure that you retain the smile you have achieved after undergoing clear aligners orthodontic treatment. Reminders help maintain your teeth in the new positions, so they do not shift back to their initial positions. It is important for the sustainability of your treatment, and it comes at the end of the treatment process. 

Types of Retainers 

There are several types of retainers, each with its own benefits and considerations: 

  • Fixed Retainers: These are cemented to the back of your teeth, fixed in place, and cannot be taken out. They provide constant support but need proper care, which involves cleaning the oral cavity. 
  • Removable Retainers: These include clear retainers, such as Essix and the traditional Hawley retainers. They can be removed for eating and cleaning, and they are easy to use and convenient. 
  • Clear Retainers (Essix): They are made from clear plastic and are almost undetectable because they are designed to fit very closely to the teeth. 
  • Hawley Retainers: These are made from acrylic and metal wires and are easy to adjust and long-lasting. 

When to wear your retainers  

  • Initial Phase: Initially, you have to wear the retainer all day and night, but you can take it out to eat and brush your teeth. 
  • Nighttime Only: After a certain amount of time, usually a few months, you may be able to wear it only at night. 
  • Orthodontist's Schedule: Every case is unique, so please adhere to the timetable set by your orthodontist. 

Proper Placement and Removal 

  • Inserting Your Retainer: Before wearing the retainer, clean your teeth and then put the retainer in your mouth and press it with your fingers without using your teeth. 
  • Removing Your Retainer: It is also advisable to slide the retainer carefully backward and apply equal pressure on the two sides to avoid breaking. 

Cleaning Your Retainer 

  • Daily Cleaning: If you take your retainer out, always clean it with warm water before placing it in the glass. Bathe it gently with a small toothbrush and a mild toothpaste that does not contain harsh chemicals. 
  • Deep Cleaning: A retainer cleaning solution or mild soap should be used for the weekly deep clean. 
  • Avoid Hot Water: Do not use hot water when cleaning the retainer, as it may cause it to change shape. 

Handling and Storage 

  • Handle with Care: It is important to always care for your retainer with clean hands to avoid transferring bacteria. 
  • Proper Storage: It is recommended that you keep your retainer in its case when not in use to avoid any harm to the retainer or your mouth. 
  • Avoid Loss: In order to avoid misplacing your retainer, it is advisable to always keep it in a specific place. 

What to Expect: Adjusting to Your Retainer 

  • Initial Sensations: A little discomfort is to be expected when you first begin wearing your retainer; it is supposed to be tight. This indicates it's working. 
  • Minor Discomfort: Mild discomfort is expected, and such symptoms should resolve in a few days. If they continue, it is recommended that you seek the attention of the orthodontist. 

Regular Check-Ups and Adjustments 

  • Follow-Up Visits: It is advisable to visit your orthodontist for check-ups to determine the state of your retainer and its effectiveness. 
  • Adjustments: Your orthodontist may want to modify the retainer or recommend a new one as time progresses. 

Contact your Pinole dentist, Dr. Hoss Abar, DDS, MSD at Abar Orthodontics, to learn more about Post-Treatment Care of clear aligners and Retention  


What Are the Dental Problems That Invisalign Can Help Fix?

*This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly suggest that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition. 

About Us

We believe that every patient deserves to feel confident about their smile. Years of experience creating beautiful and flawless smiles.

Abar Orthodontics, Pinole, CA

1500 Tara Hills Drive, Suite 204, Pinole, CA 94564

Abar Orthodontics, San Leandro, CA

145 East 14th street, #100, San Leandro, CA 94577

© 2024Abar Orthodontics | All rights reserved | Powered by:Vigorant, Inc.