Congratulations on finishing your Invisalign treatment! What happens now? While the hardest part of Invisalign is behind you, it takes some work to maintain your new smile. If you don’t follow proper post-Invisalign care procedures, your teeth could shift back to their original position. Here’s how to maintain your new smile for life after Invisalign.

1. Wear your retainer.

Yes, you really do have to wear a retainer after completing your Invisalign treatment. It’s extremely important that you do so, in fact. Your retainer is what keeps your teeth in their new positions.

However, you don’t have to wear your retainer all day. For most Invisalign patients, wearing the retainer only at night is enough. The important thing is to be consistent. This is especially true for teenagers since their bones are still rapidly developing.

2. Clean your teeth thoroughly.

Before you put your retainer in for the night, brush and floss your teeth carefully to be sure they’re as slick and clean as possible. If your teeth aren’t clean, your retainer will trap any bacteria and acid present in your mouth, which is highly damaging to your enamel.

3. Clean your retainer frequently.

Keeping your retainer clean is just as important as maintaining good oral hygiene. Without proper care, your retainer will start to harbor bacteria. You can buy tablets that are designed to sanitize your retainer quickly and easily, or you can simply wash it with soap and water.

4. See your dentist regularly.

Once you’ve finished Invisalign, it’s important to have a professional check your teeth regularly to make sure everything is still looking good. Your dentist will be able to spot any problems and answer your questions about how to take care of your new smile.