While getting your braces removed is an exciting moment, it’s essential to remember the importance of aftercare following orthodontic treatment. Follow the recommendations of your dentist and remember to keep up with consistent oral hygiene practices. Here are a few things to keep in mind after orthodontic treatment to help preserve the alignment and appearance of your smile.
Get a Professional Cleaning
After removing your braces, there will be some residue on your teeth from the glue used to secure the brackets in place. Your dentist will gently remove this material during your cleaning session. They use various instruments to remove plaque or tartar buildup and then polish and floss your teeth as well.
Try Teeth Whitening
Another way to lighten stained or discolored teeth is by whitening them. The process starts with applying a professional-strength whitening gel. This gel works to remove the stains from teeth and is often activated by a special light. Teeth whitening may require several sessions to achieve optimal results. There are several benefits to teeth whitening, including:
- Long-lasting results
- A fast and convenient way to remove stains
- Even color where brackets and wires sat
- A safe and pain-free treatment
Keep Up Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Practicing oral hygiene is essential, especially following dental treatment like braces. Most professionals recommend brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. Use mouthwash as well to further clean teeth and eliminate the growth of harmful bacteria. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Wear Your Retainer
When your braces are removed, it’s necessary to wear a retainer for a period to prevent your teeth from moving out of alignment. Simply rinsing the retainer with cool water and lightly scrubbing it with a toothbrush is enough to keep it clean. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind when you get a retainer:
- Remove your retainer before eating
- Keep your retainer safely stored in its case
- Notify your dentist immediately if you lose or break your retainer
- Heat can damage your retainer, so avoid rinsing with it hot water
Watch for Complications
If you experience tenderness in the mouth after your braces come off, occasionally rinsing out your mouth with warm water can help alleviate discomfort. It’s not unusual to feel some tooth sensitivity as well. Some jaw issues may occur after orthodontic treatment, such as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). This condition can make chewing uncomfortable. Another complication that some people experience after orthodontic treatment is gum recession. Speak with your dentist if you have any symptoms that concern you.
Getting your braces off is a huge milestone. Protect all the progress you’ve made on your smile by practicing a steady oral hygiene routine and by wearing your retainer whenever you can. By following these tips, you will have a whiter, straighter smile well into the future.