Getting your braces off is a hugely exciting time. All the treatment that you’ve gone through has paid off with a gorgeous straight smile! Now you get to see that smile after many months of orthodontic treatment. Seeing your new smile can make you feel on top of the world!
After your time with braces, you want to keep your smile as straight and beautiful as possible for life. How can you ensure that your smile looks its best after your orthodontic care?
Wear Your Retainer
Your orthodontist will have your retainer ready for you on the day your braces are taken off. Retainers are often made of wire and plastic and are uniquely shaped to fit your smile perfectly. You’ll need to wear these little trays every day and night for a full six months after getting your braces off. After six months, you’ll still need to continue wearing your retainer for a while. How long? Orthodontists recommend wearing your retainer nightly for life in order to maintain your straight smile and keep your teeth from shifting!
Get Regular Dental Checkups
Getting checkups with your dentist can also be an opportunity for you to check in with your dentist regarding your retainer. Your retainer may need to be replaced or may not fit correctly. If this is the case, bring your retainer with you and talk to your dentist or orthodontist about getting a replacement.
If you stop wearing your retainer, chances are your teeth will shift, so it’s imperative that it fits correctly and is comfortable to wear at night. Getting regular dental exams can also ensure that your teeth haven’t shifted and that your retainer is doing its job!
Take Care of Your Retainer
You’ll need to brush your retainer every day in order to remove bacteria and plaque that can build up on the surfaces of the retainer. Always store your retainer in a safe place—your orthodontist has likely given you a small, hard case to store it in. Keep it in a familiar place in this protective case!
Losing your retainer could end up being a costly replacement, so always keep it at home when you wear it nightly. When you remove it, always put it back in its case. By taking care of your retainer, you help to take care of your smile and keep your teeth straight and pretty.
Practice Excellent Oral Care
Maintaining the same great oral care habits that you had while receiving orthodontic treatment can help prevent tooth loss. Losing teeth will provoke shifting among the remaining teeth in your mouth, so taking the best possible care of your smile is crucial to prevent this from happening.
Pay attention to any changes in your smile—whether you notice food getting stuck in odd places or shifting teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist if you notice any changes. Brushing twice daily for two minutes and flossing between your beautiful teeth can keep them clean and free of decay!
Taking care of your smile doesn’t stop just because your braces are off. Keeping your teeth straight, beautiful, and healthy is easy when you check in with your dentist, wear and take care of your retainer, and practice great oral care habits. Enjoy your new smile for life!
Image courtesy of yodiyim at FreeDigitalPhotos.net