How to Care for Your Teeth After Braces

Congratulations on getting your braces off! After months or even years of working with your local orthodontist, you’ve finally achieved the smile you’ve always wanted. You should feel proud of the effort and dedication you put in to make it happen. But now that the braces are off, what’s next?

In order to keep your smile straight and bright for many years to come, there are a few essential steps to keep in mind. We talked to Dr. Smith, Dr. Heymann, and Dr. Skillestad of Smith & Heymann Orthodontics for some expert advice. Let’s dive into their tips and recommendations below:

Retainer, Retainer, Retainer!

After completing orthodontic treatment, it’s important to wear your retainer regularly. Studies show that many patients stop using their retainer after a few months, which is a common cause of further orthodontic issues down the road. Dr. Smith, Dr. Heymann, and Dr. Skillestad recommend wearing your retainer full-time for one week,  followed by indefinite nighttime wear to maintain alignment.  Brush daily with toothpaste and store dry. and regularly cleaning it with a high-quality cleaning fluid to maintain alignment. 

Here are some tips for caring for your retainer:

  • Keep your retainer clean and well-protected.
  • Avoid leaving your retainer near any major heat sources, which can cause it to warp and become less effective.
  • Keep retainers out of reach of indoor pets.
  • Always keep your retainer safe in your retainer case when you’re not using it, and consider having a backup on hand in case of loss or damage.

Keep Your Smile Clean

Now that you’re out of braces, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene to keep your teeth healthy and your smile looking great. Dr. Smith, Dr. Heymann, and Dr. Skillestad recommend brushing your teeth in the morning, at night, and after snacks, using soft bristles at a 45-degree angle for at least two minutes at a time. Be sure to brush the insides of your teeth, as well, to maintain a healthy mouth. Here are some additional tips for keeping your smile clean:

  • Use a new toothbrush every three months or so to ensure proper cleaning.
  • Consider using an electric toothbrush, which can be more effective at removing plaque and maintaining oral health.
  • Floss daily to remove debris and bacteria from hard-to-reach areas between your teeth.

How to Care for Your Teeth After BracesSchedule Regular Check-Ups and Cleanings

After getting your braces off; it’s important to keep up with a regular schedule of check-ups and cleanings. We recommend an initial cleaning after treatment is completed to address any plaque buildup that may have occurred during your treatment and regular cleanings every six months to maintain your oral health. Here are some additional tips for scheduling regular check-ups:

  • Make sure to attend all of your scheduled appointments with your orthodontist and dentist.
  • Communicate any concerns or issues you may have with your orthodontist or dentist, so they can address them promptly and effectively.
  • Stay up to date with any recommended treatments or procedures to maintain your oral health.

Consider a Teeth Whitening ProcedureAfter getting your braces off; you may notice that your teeth have some discoloration or staining. A teeth whitening procedure can be a great way to offset this natural discoloration and enhance your smile. Dr. Smith, Dr. Heymann, and Dr. Skillestad recommend waiting a few weeks after debonding to allow your teeth to adjust and settle before undergoing a professional whitening procedure. Here are some additional tips for considering a teeth whitening procedure:

  • Discuss the pros and cons of a teeth whitening procedure with your orthodontist or dentist.
  • Choose a reputable provider who can offer safe and effective treatment.
  • Follow all post-treatment instructions carefully to ensure the best results.

It’s worth bearing in mind that your teeth will be a little sensitive in the first week or two after debonding, and a professional whitening could aggravate that sensitivity. For this reason, it’s best to wait a little while before booking your appointment. In the meantime, continue to brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth clean and healthy.

And there you have it, our top tips for maintaining a straight and healthy smile after getting your braces off. Remember, getting your braces off is a big milestone, but it’s not the end of the road. Taking care of your teeth and attending regular check-ups and cleanings are essential for maintaining your beautiful new smile. So go forth and show off those pearly whites!

How to Care for Your Teeth After BracesTop Secret Bonus Tip: 

Come back and see us! At Smith & Heymann Orthodontics, we’re ready and waiting to take care of all your smile goals. Have any questions or concerns? Give us a call! We’re here for you, no matter where you are in your smile journey.

So if you’re in Roxboro, Durham, Chapel Hill, Mebane, or the surrounding areas, you’ve at least got that orthodontic thing figured out! Smith & Heymann is a family, and that extends to our patients. Won’t you join ours?