When your fixed braces come off, you may be very pleased with the results. However, teeth continue to move around after braces are removed, which means your smile can lose its new alignment. Keep your smile looking good after orthodontic treatment by following these three simple tips.
Wear Your Retainer
Orthodontists typically give their patients a retainer to wear after their braces come off. This is because the pressure that braces apply causes bones and connective tissues around your teeth to loosen, allowing the teeth to shift, and this process can continue after the braces are removed. The retainer holds your teeth in place while they settle into their new positions.
Some retainers need to be worn full time for the first six months, except when eating and cleaning your teeth, whereas others are only worn at night. Some people must wear retainers overnight throughout their lives. Follow your orthodontist's instructions carefully. If you don't wear your retainer as often as you should, your teeth could slip out of alignment, which could mean you need to have braces again.
Brush and Floss Every Day
Gum disease can cause teeth to shift around and become loose, which could reverse the effects of your orthodontic treatment. If it goes untreated, gum disease could even cause you to lose teeth, which will leave gaps in your smile that your other teeth could shift into.
Make the most of the investment you have made in your teeth by thoroughly brushing your teeth every morning and evening and flossing your teeth once every day. Flossing is important because it removes the plaque from the gaps between your teeth that your brush can't reach, preventing this plaque from hardening into tartar, which can irritate your gums and ultimately lead to gum disease.
Have Regular Check Ups
Even after your braces come off, you'll need to continue to visit the dentist regularly. Have a checkup once every six months to ensure your teeth are healthy and in the correct positions. It's a good idea to also have a professional cleaning at this time to remove any traces of tartar that have built up despite your good oral health habits.
Always bring your retainer to your appointment so your dentist can check the fit. Retainers need to be replaced occasionally to help them keep your teeth in place, as they can become misshapen over time. Always follow your dentist's or orthodontist's advice regarding your retainer to keep your smile looking perfect.