You’ve finally paid your dues for the perfect smile — after years of wearing braces, they’ve finally come off, and you’re ready to show off your pearly whites to the whole world.

But wait, there are a lot of things that have changed with your teeth and you’ll be able to see the difference with braces before and after the orthodontic treatment. This article is a guide to what you should expect after the completion of your orthodontic treatment.

What to Expect After Braces Removal?

It’s understandable that you’re excited that your braces have come off, but the removal of braces doesn’t complete the orthodontic treatment; there’s some part of it that’s still left. Here are a few things that you need to consider after your braces treatment:

  • Dietary Restrictions
  • After you get the braces off, the teeth enamel is exposed, because of which your teeth might be sensitive for some time. While your teeth are still adjusting to their new braces-free positions, you must stay away from eating crunchy or chewy foods.
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Now that you have the perfect smile, you also want your teeth to look pearly white. If you are considering getting whitening treatments done, wait a month or two after the removal of your braces because your teeth are still sensitive.
  • Wearing a Retainer
  • Once your braces are removed, your orthodontist might suggest that you wear a retainer. A retainer after braces treatment is necessary so that your teeth don’t shift back to being misaligned. Retainers after braces help stabilize your bones and teeth after the active orthodontic treatment.
There are two classes of retainers:
  • Removable retainers that can be taken out when you are eating your meals.
  • Bonded retainers that are attached to your teeth and can’t be removed.

Generally, orthodontists will require you to wear your retainers a few months after your braces treatment is completed. Your retainer is going to be customized for your mouth and hence should be quite comfortable. Even though you might experience minor difficulties in speaking at first, the initial discomfort will go away after you get used to them.

How to Care for Your Retainers?

If you have bonded retainers, you need to follow the same strict oral hygiene routine you did when you had the braces: brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash after every meal.

For a removable retainer, you need to brush and clean your retainer every morning and night. You can either soak them in denture cleaning solutions, or vinegar and water. Don’t use toothpaste to clean clear retainers as they become clouded, and never boil or microwave clean retainers.

How Long Does a Retainer Last?

The life of retainers after braces depends on how well you take care of them. They need to be replaced periodically, according to the instructions given by your orthodontist.

Overall Dental Care After Braces Removal

Your orthodontist will schedule a dental exam and cleaning after your braces are removed. This exam is done to check for the changes in your teeth before and after braces treatment and to ensure that no other dental issues have cropped up because of braces.

The orthodontist will also clean your teeth to get rid of any build-up of plaque that might have occurred because of braces (since it’s hard to clean your teeth when you have braces).

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you should keep up with a strict oral hygiene routine before and after braces have come off. If you have any questions about retainers or what happens post braces treatment, contact a family orthodontist at Koch Orthodontics.