There’s nothing quite like waiting for your braces to come off. Especially after months—years, even—of waiting. No more uncomfortable, tight feeling in your teeth. No more things getting stuck in your braces. Most of all, no more misaligned teeth. But freedom comes at a cost. The next challenge is what to do once your braces come off.
It’s heartbreaking to see all the progress you’ve made dissipate into nothing. And without the right measures in place, that could be you and your teeth post-braces. Getting that perfect smile, unfortunately, doesn’t end once the braces come off. Arguably, what you do after treatment matters just as much, if not more so. This retention period is key to getting those beautifully straight rows.
What do you do after your braces come off, then? Especially if you want to make the most of your treatment? Here are the basics:
- Keep your dental health in check
Just as it was when you were on braces, keeping up with your oral health will do wonders to your teeth. Right after you get your braces removed, your teeth might feel a little sensitive during the first few weeks. You can combat this by sticking to a regular oral hygiene regimen to keep the enamel healthy. If there’s pain or discomfort when you do this, be as gentle as possible. You can also use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth to alleviate this further.
Aside from easing up sensitivity, keeping proper oral care gives your teeth the strength it needs to continue to its proper alignment. Poor oral health can often lead to bone damage and gum problems—both of which can loosen the teeth and take them out of alignment once more. The right oral care routine, then, can prevent these woes and keep your teeth straighter for longer.
If you’re also worried about the state of your teeth, keeping up with your dental visits can help you track your progress. These appointments can also give your teeth the boost they need to stay in place and be their best versions.
- Eat healthy food for your teeth
While you were wearing braces, you might’ve had to stay away from your favorite snacks. These tasty treats can get stuck in the wires and do a number on your braces. When you get them off, then, there’s always that temptation to binge everything you couldn’t have, or at least eat them regularly. You might need to reconsider this, however. Aside from an excellent oral hygiene routine, a proper diet can strengthen your teeth and bones so they can stay in the right place for longer. Hard foods, in particular, are something you might want to wean off for longer, as they can hurt your teeth and your jaw muscles.
- Don’t forget your retainer
Anyone who’s ever had braces before knows how crucial it is to keep your retainer in. They can be a drag at times, but retainers are critical to keeping your teeth in alignment. Do keep in mind your orthodontist’s advice on how to care for them and how often you should use them. After the short bout of discomfort, the results will be worth it all.