How to Keep Your Perfect Smile After Braces
You have put in a lot of time, money, and visits to the orthodontist to get that perfect smile. Now that the braces are off you’ll want to do everything you can to protect your investment. Teeth naturally begin to shift back into their original position with time, but fortunately, there are several steps you can take to keep your smile bright and beautiful.
Wear Your Retainer as Recommended
Just when you thought you were done dealing with metal wires in your mouth, here comes the retainer. While far more comfortable and less restrictive than braces, wearing a retainer both day and night is still a chore. However, it is a necessary chore. Teeth are stubborn, and for the first 10 months or so after taking off the braces your teeth will try to migrate back to their previous positions. A retainer is your best defense against shifting teeth. Your orthodontist will most likely recommend wearing a retainer 24-hours a day until the periodontal membrane becomes stable enough to hold the teeth in place more securely. Eventually, you will only have to wear the retainer at night.
Continue Good Oral Hygiene
You have put in more than your fair share of time taking care of your teeth the last few years, but now is not the time to slack off. Continue with all the good oral care habits you’ve learned while wearing braces including:
- Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and calcium
- Brushing properly twice a day
- Cleaning your tongue
- Using a germ-killing mouthwash
- Replacing your toothbrush every three to four months
Keeping your mouth and gums as healthy as possible not only makes your smile sparkle, it helps prevent tooth or bone loss which could cause teeth to shift again.
Keep Your Regular Dental Appointments
Seeing a dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups is crucial for everyone to maintain their oral health. For those worried about keeping their smile perfect after braces, regular checkups are the best way to catch and correct problems early. During checkups, your dentist will monitor the alignment of your teeth to make sure they are staying in place. The dentist may recommend more frequent use of the retainer or make other suggestions for keeping your smile beautiful.
Brushing your teeth with braces on isn’t easy. Over the last two or three years, a few stains have likely built up despite your best efforts. Having teeth whitened at the dentist’s office will make your newly straightened smile sparkle. However, your mouth will be sensitive even after braces are gone. Talk to your orthodontist about the right time for a whitening procedure—typically two to three months after the braces have been removed.
Ask Your Orthodontist
Your orthodontist is the best source for information about keeping your smile picture-perfect. Drs. Gruelle and Dempsey enjoy helping their patients get and keep a confident smile. If you’re excited or nervous about what comes next after your braces are removed, call our office today.