It’s finally here, the long-awaited day that your child (or you) are saying goodbye to braces. Your exciting orthodontist appointment will leave you with a set of perfectly straight teeth and an enhanced dose of self-confidence. However, there’s still work to be done! Now, you need to maintain your impeccably aligned smile.
You or your child have worked hard for this milestone. It would be a shame to waste your time, effort and money. So, here are three ways to ensure straight teeth after braces have come off.
1) Get – and wear – a retainer
While your braces were in, they made the bone and connective tissue in your mouth shift and rebuild around your teeth in their new positions. However, just because the braces are removed – and with them the pressure of the aligner trays and/or archwire – doesn’t mean that your teeth are done moving. Teeth generally want to go back to where they came from.
This is where a retainer helps. They slow your teeth’s natural inclination to shift. A retainer alerts your teeth to stay in place and aligned. Typically, patients are recommended to wear retainers full time during the first six months – a year after braces have been removed; this is the time when teeth are still actively attempting to move. Afterwards, a removable retainer can be worn at night. Your orthodontist will advise you what is the recommended routine for your case.
2) Maintain good oral hygiene after braces
Just like before you had braces, twice daily brushing and once daily flossing still applies. Good oral hygiene habits are important for maintaining your glowing smile for life. The more you brush and floss, the better.
3) Schedule regular dental exams
After braces, preventative dental care goes a long way. This includes twice yearly teeth cleanings. Be sure to bring your retainer for a proper fitting check or to see whether it needs to be replaced.