Braces are one of the most widely preferred orthodontic treatments for teeth straightening across all age groups – be it kids or older people. From getting white ceramic braces to traditional ones, these orthodontic appliances have come a long way. Crooked, crowded, misaligned, or improperly spaced teeth – all can be rectified with the help of braces.

You may have to keep them on for at least 18 months or even more per your orthodontic condition. Besides, you also need to stick to certain dietary restrictions and follow a strict oral hygiene routine.

How to Care for Your Teeth Post Braces

However, once the braces are removed after treatment, you need to keep certain vital factors in mind to care for your teeth properly. If ignored, the condition of your teeth may deteriorate, and all your efforts may amount to nothing. To begin with, you may notice certain changes in your mouth, such as calluses, discolored teeth, etc.

Some of these changes may disappear without any effort from your end. Apart from these, listed below are certain factors that are important when it comes to caring for your teeth post braces:

Dental Checkup and Cleaning

Ask your dentist about a dental exam and cleaning session shortly after your braces are removed. The dentist will check whether any oral issues have developed or not. Even a simple tartar buildup, if neglected, can result in serious oral health issues in the long run.

Cleaning your teeth thoroughly with braces is quite challenging. Hence, a bit of negligence is inevitable. Once they are removed, the teeth become completely accessible and hence can be cleaned thoroughly.

Oral Hygiene Routine

You may tend to go easy on brushing and flossing since it is much easier now than it was earlier with your braces on. However, it would be best if you weren’t negligent about your oral hygiene routine. Choose a brush with soft bristles since your teeth may be sensitive after removing the braces. Floss daily, and lastly, rinse with a non-alcoholic mouthwash.

Diet

You need not follow strict restrictions like those prescribed to you when you had your braces on. But, you still need to be careful about what you eat. Avoid eating or drinking anything very hot or cold for a few weeks after your braces are removed.

Also, do not eat any extremely chewy or crunchy foods for a while. This ensures that your teeth adjust to their new positions appropriately and their sensitivity isn’t aggravated.

Teeth Whitening

You may notice certain discolored areas on your teeth and want to go for teeth whitening treatments. However, you need to be a bit more patient and wait for about a month or two before going for any whitening treatments. Once your braces are removed, your teeth may turn sensitive, and any whitening products may cause discomfort.

Retainers

Once you have your braces removed, the teeth might go back to their misaligned position. To prevent this, you must wear retainers. These help to retain the teeth in their corrected position. Retainers should wear them for at least the first six months post braces.

After that, depending on your particular case, your orthodontist will prescribe whether or not you should continue wearing them. Retainers are custom-made and come in three different types:

Hawley Retainer

It is made from a combination of various metals and acrylic. It is thin and tongue-shaped and is available in different patterns and colors. It is easy to take this retainer off and put it back on.

Essix Retainer

It is a clear retainer made from plastic and is also extremely easy to remove and wear. It is practically invisible.

Fixed Retainer

This retainer is directly cemented to the inside of your teeth, primarily canines. You cannot do this without a professional procedure.

Caring for Your Retainer

Ask your dentist about the type of retainer that best suits your needs. Also, make sure to ask how to care for your retainers. It is essential to keep them clean to avoid any oral health problems.

Maintaining a high level of dental hygiene while wearing braces and after they are taken off is essential to retain the hard-earned results. Consult your dentist if you have any more queries regarding maintaining a healthy smile after having your braces removed.

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Rome Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with this family.

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