After months and months of waiting, it’s finally time. Your braces have come off and your teeth are perfectly straight. This means never worrying about them again, right? Wrong. Once you get your braces off, it’s just as important to wear retainers and monitor your teeth to keep them straight.
Retainers Are Important After You Have Braces
The major application you’ll use after getting your braces off is your retainer. This is a custom-made appliance you will have to wear to keep your teeth straight. Even though your teeth will be straight after your braces are removed, they are not set in concrete and still have the ability to shift around. Retainers keep your teeth from wanting to move back toward the positions that they were in before braces. So, retainers are very important if you’d like to keep that straight smile for years.
There are two types of retainers: removable and permanent.
Removable retainers are sometimes made of wire that will fit across the front of your teeth and are attached to an acrylic mold that sits either on the roof of your mouth or under your tongue. Some removable retainers are clear and fit over all of your teeth, similar to an Invisalign tray. There are a few different types of retainers that can be prescribed depending on your particular situation. You will be able to remove these retainers when you eat or brush your teeth. This means you will not get any food in them and are able to clean your teeth effectively. The risk that comes with this type of retainer is because they can be removed, they can also be lost or damaged. You don’t want to have to go back to the orthodontist and invest in having another one made.
Permanent or fixed retainers are thin wire that is cemented to the back of your upper or lower teeth. It usually stretches across several teeth but is invisible from the front. While you can’t remove this type of retainer, it has been proven to have the best results in keeping your teeth straight and fixed in their positions. It is placed in such a way that you are able to clean and floss below it and avoid plaque buildup around it. But, it is not for everyone. In some cases, it is used in combination with a removeable retainer.
Retainers are a lifetime commitment. At the beginning of your retainer use, you will have to wear it all day, every day. But depending on your orthodontic issues, the orthodontist should eventually say that you only have to wear a retainer at night while you sleep.
Immediately after getting your braces off, you might feel some slight sensitivity or discomfort in your teeth. You’ve gotten used to the feel of your braces throughout the months you’ve had them on and now your teeth will be experiencing something new. They may also feel very soft and smooth after the metal brackets are removed. You will have to get used to not having braces again.
Your teeth will be more exposed without the brackets and eating might be a little uncomfortable for a few days because of the pressure that your teeth will be under. But you won’t have any food restrictions, so you can eat whatever you want!
Hygiene After Braces
Keeping your teeth clean after braces is just as important as ever. It will be easier now that you don’t have brackets and wires to brush around. But, because you’ll be reintroducing more sticky or crunchy foods back into your diet, you will want to be careful to keep your teeth brushed and flossed well.
You might decide to brighten your smile after braces. You can whiten your teeth at the dentist’s office or at home.
Getting your braces off is such an exciting time. You’ll be able to see why it was so worth it to wear them for so long. Don’t slack off on keeping up with your dental hygiene though. Brushing, flossing, and wearing your retainer will be the most important aspects of your post-braces treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always call us at (843) 4-BRACES for more information.