It’s finally here, the long-awaited day that your child (or you) say goodbye to braces. After this exciting orthodontist appointment you will leave with a set of perfectly straight teeth and an enhanced dose of self-confidence. Now you need to maintain your impeccably aligned smile. It would be a shame to waste all your effort and money and allow those teeth to move back to their old positions. Follow our four simple and sensible ways to ensure straight teeth once the braces 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 have stopped moving. Teeth generally want to go back to the position 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 be aligned. Typically, patients are recommended to wear retainers 24-hours a day during the first six months to 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 the recommended routine for your case is.
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. In addition, make sure to brush your teeth before you insert your retainer.
3) Treat your retainer like your treat your teeth – with respect!
Treat your retainer like your teeth and clean the insides of your retainer with plain water and not toothpaste, which can be too abrasive. Never wash your retainer in hot or boiling water.
Store your retainer in a cool place when you’re not wearing it. Don’t leave it in a hot car or surface – it may warp and then not fit your mouth properly. Don’t over-handle or play with your retainer and keep it away from small babies and animals.
Once a week give your retainer deep cleaning with either a retainer-specific cleaner or a denture cleaner.
Unlike your teeth, never eat with your retainer in your mouth.
With proper care, most retainers can last up to 10 years.
4) 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 to your orthodontist visits for a proper fitting check or to see whether it needs to be replaced.
With care, your newly straightened teeth should last you a lifetime!
About the Clinic: Raanana Dental Care focuses on preventative care and specializes in high quality restorative and esthetic dental treatments, dental phobias, as well as emergency dental care. https://www.raananadental.com/