After months – and in some cases, years – of wearing braces, we know you’re ready to show the world your big accomplishment. Your smile story doesn’t end here, however. Learning how to maintain your smile after braces is your next step, and the team at Beim Orthodontics is here to help you every step of the way! Check out our top tips on how to maintain your smile after orthodontic treatment.
Stay Consistent with Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Now that you’re out of braces, it’s time to ensure that you keep up a great habit of brushing in the morning and at night, as well as after snacks.
You’ve been diligent so far, and now that the goal of your ideal smile is closer than ever, make sure to brush often and properly: use soft bristles at a 45-degree angle for at least 2 minutes at a time. Be sure and brush the insides of your teeth – just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t just as crucial for a healthy mouth!
A new brush is a happy brush. Make sure you’re swapping your brush out every three months or so to keep things moving in the right direction.
Don’t Forget to Wear Your Retainer
Wearing your retainer is the single most important thing you can do to maintain that beautiful new smile. Many patients underestimate the value of wearing a retainer, but if you want to avoid wearing braces later in life or having to spend more money to get braces all over again, don’t neglect this tip.
Your teeth could begin shifting back to their original positions just days after your braces come off! For the best results possible, you’ll need to wear your retainer full-time (22 hours/day) for the first year after you’re done with treatment. Remember, your teeth are used to the 24/7 force your braces applied during treatment, so this time frame allows your teeth to adjust to their new positions without shifting. Once you’ve worn your retainer full-time for a year, you can shift to nighttime wear for life.
Clean Your Retainer Regularly
Keeping your retainer clean and in good condition is just as important as wearing it daily. Your retainer is in your mouth often. That means it’s constantly exposed to all the bacteria, plaque, and food debris hanging around there! Dr. Beim recommends cleaning your retainers whenever you brush your teeth using soap or denture cleaner (toothpaste can make them cloudy over time).
Of course, life happens, and there will be days you forget. This isn’t a big deal as long as it only happens occasionally, but you should be able to recognize when your retainer is overdue for a cleaning! These signs include a bad taste or smell, a cloudy appearance, or white spots.
Schedule Regular Check-Ups with Your Dentist
Getting a dental cleaning right after your braces are removed is an excellent idea since your dental team will be able to remove any plaque that’s accumulated while you were wearing your braces. A post-treatment dental exam will also help you catch any issues that may need attention and keep your new smile bright and shiny.
But don’t stop there! Scheduling regular dental check-ups every six months or so will help prevent gum and dental issues that could undermine the investment you’ve made in your oral health with orthodontics.
Keep Your New Smile Shining with Beim Orthodontics
Our team at Beim Orthodontics wants to help you maintain your newly straightened smile for life. These tips for maintaining your smile after orthodontic treatment are a great place to start. If you have any additional questions, we’re always happy to help!
If you’re just starting your orthodontic journey, Dr. Beim can help you get the smile of your dreams at any age. Schedule an initial consultation in our Lake Mary office to learn more about keeping your smile healthy and how our team of experts can help you. We look forward to helping you along your dental journey!