Good dental care is just as important after your braces are off as while you’re wearing them.
In today’s post we’ll talk about proper post-orthodontic care and what you can do to keep your teeth healthy and straight for the rest of your life. Let’s start by going over a few of the most important reasons to take good care of your smile.
Why Take Care for Your Teeth After Braces?
There are a few challenges many people deal with after their braces come off. The two most common are:
- Their teeth don’t stay straight
- They see tooth stains and plaque build-up near where the brackets used to be
At Timberhill Dental, we help many patients avoid or manage these complications. Here’s what you can do in the months and years after your braces come off:
Get a Thorough Professional Cleaning and Exam
If you’ve had braces, you know how difficult it can be to brush and floss well. The longer you’ve had your braces, the more likely it is that plaque and stains have accumulated and settled on your teeth. A professional dental cleaning is the best way to remove them, and there’s no better time for a thorough cleaning and exam than right after braces.
Now that your teeth are beautifully straight, let’s get them sparkling clean and stain-free!
While you’re at it, why not treat yourself to a professional whitening too? You’ve spent months or years wearing braces, and now that big moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here — your braces are coming off!
It’s not uncommon for people to see their new, straight teeth for the first time and feel a little disappointed when they see yellowing, stains, and other discoloration that can occur during orthodontics. After all your patience and hard work, professional teeth whitening is a great way to put that sparkle back into your smile.
If you have questions about how a professional dental cleaning or whitening can help you, call Timberhill Dental at (541) 754-0144 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Black.
Wear Your Retainer as Directed
No one likes retainers, but there is a good reason your orthodontist tells you to wear one. Our teeth have a natural tendency to move back to their original position. In fact, your teeth are at the biggest risk of moving back in the first few weeks and months after your braces come off. Your retainer keeps them in their new, straight position. You don’t want to undo all those months of wearing and caring for your braces!
Here’s what to expect:
Your orthodontist will most likely take impressions of your teeth as soon as your braces are off. He or she will use them to make your retainers. Most orthodontists will tell you to wear your retainers all the time for a while but eventually transition to wearing them only at night.
Take Good Care of Your Retainers
Clean your retainers at least once each day. After all, you don’t want to put a bacteria-filled retainer back into a freshly brushed mouth.
You can clean many types of retainers in the sink with regular toothpaste and a toothbrush. For other retainers you may need to use mouthwash or denture cleaner. If you’re not sure, ask your orthodontist about the best method for keeping your retainers clean.
Tip: Carry a retainer case with you all the time. When it’s time for a meal, many people simply wrap their retainer in a napkin and set it aside. This is how retainers often get accidentally thrown away. A plastic retainer case is much less likely to be mistaken for an old napkin and thrown away.
Be Diligent about Your at-Home Dental Routine
You’ve already made a big investment in your teeth. Now that they are straight, a good daily dental regimen can help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile you’re proud to show off for the rest of your life!
So, what should you be doing every day?
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristled brush, and replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles appear frayed. Learn how to brush properly here.
- Floss once a day to remove plaque and food particles that your toothbrush can’t reach. Make sure to floss every single space between teeth.
- Mouthwash is optional, but if your teeth need a little more protection than just brushing and flossing, talk to your dentist about the best mouthwash options for you.
- Clean your retainers. Make this part of your daily routine. Once it becomes a habit it won’t feel like a bother anymore.
In addition to your regular dental routine, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth with water after you eat anything sugary. In the same way, a quick rinse after coffee, tea, and other stain-causing foods can help prevent stains and keep your teeth white.
Get the Best Possible Results
Most people get braces because they want a healthy, beautiful smile. Good dental care during and after orthodontics can help you achieve that. That’s why it’s so important to get regular cleanings and talk to your dentist about any concerns you may have.
If you recently had your braces taken off, schedule an appointment with Timberhill Dental today. Dr. Black would love to answer your questions, talk to you about your options, and help you make sure you’re getting the best possible results from your orthodontic treatment. You deserve a bright, healthy smile that you’re proud to show off!