You have had braces on for what we are sure has felt like forever. They limited what you could eat, may have wreaked havoc on your lips and cheeks, and required extra special cleaning tools and multiple visits to the orthodontist. Now, however, you are finally free of them! Your new, beautiful, straight smile has you enjoying popcorn, unafraid to grin on camera, and flashing those pearly whites every chance you get. It took a lot to get to this point so proper follow up orthodontic care is important. Below are 4 tips from your local Gilmer family dentist to help you maintain that perfect smile in a post-braces world.
Tip #1. Orthodontic Retainers
Now that your braces have been removed, your orthodontist or Dr. Furniss will likely recommend you get a retainer. This is to prevent your teeth from wanting to return to their previous, crooked state. A retainer may be removable or fixed, depending on you and your orthodontist’s discussions. If your retainer is removable, you will likely need to wear it day and night in the beginning. Your orthodontist may eventually give you the ok to wear it only at night or to take it out entirely. However, your due diligence in following their guidance plays a role in how long your retainer will need to be worn and how well they work for you.
Tip #2. Keep Your Retainer Clean
Keeping your retainer is important to your oral health. Failure to do so can result in the growth of harmful bacteria, which can lead to things like gum disease. After all, the same build-up that is occurring on your teeth is also affecting your retainer. Speak with your orthodontist regarding the proper care for your retainer and follow their directions.
Tip #3. Post-Braces Oral Hygiene
It is important that you practice good oral hygiene both before and after braces. However, once the braces are removed, it can become easy to take that smile for granted. You should brush and floss regularly, avoid food and beverages that stain, and continue to visit your dentist regularly to ensure your mouth stay healthy.
Tip #4. Whitening Solutions
If you did not take the best care of your teeth while you had braces, your teeth may have become discolored and patchy. Straightening your teeth took time and effort – why would you want a yellow smile once the braces have been removed? Speak with your dentist about tooth whitening options if this has happened.
Follow up orthodontic care is important. At Furniss Family Dentistry, we understand how exciting it is to finally have your braces removed. Your post-orthodontic care, however, can affect the results you worked so hard for. If you are in the Gilmer area, contact us today if you would like to learn more about the braces or Invisalign process, post-orthodontic care, or any other dental concerns you may have. You may be a candidate for Invisalign therapy at Furniss Family Dentistry, or you may have advanced needs that require an orthodontic specialist. Dr. Furniss can give you a proper evaluation and find the best way to meet your needs.