Getting your braces removed after many months of wearing and caring for them is an exciting endeavor, but with it comes the responsibility of maintaining your new, improved smile. After all, who wants to go through the trouble of having their teeth straightened with orthodontic appliances, only to have them shift a short time later? While there are important steps you should take to ensure that your smile stays bright and beautiful after your braces are removed, they are easier than you may think.
Check out these 5 simple tips for maintaining the long-term beauty of your teeth after braces.
Your Retainer is Your Friend
Perhaps the most effective thing you can do to protect your newly straightened smile is to wear your retainer, especially in the first months after your braces are removed. This is because your retainer will hold your teeth in place and prevent them from shifting, much as your braces did. Wearing your retainer may be inconvenient at first, but with a consistent daily routine, doing so will quickly become second nature. Furthermore, it will be well worth the effort when your teeth continue to look their best many years after having your braces removed.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is a vital part of maintaining a dazzling smile after braces. There may be gaps in your gums from your shifting teeth after braces, which makes it more important than ever to brush and floss thoroughly twice a day to prevent plaque from building up. It’s also essential that you continue to visit your dentist every six months for routine exams and professional cleanings.
Avoid Bad Oral Habits
Sometimes people encourage their teeth to shift by the habits they form with their mouths. With this in mind, try to avoid behaviors that may be causing your teeth to move without you even realizing it, such as:
– Pushing your tongue against the back of your teeth
– Improperly chewing
– Chewing on inedible items, such as the back of your pencil
– Clenching or grinding your teeth
If you find yourself doing activities that could be causing your teeth to shift, do your best to correct the behavior right away. Breaking bad habits isn’t easy, but it’s worth it to maintain healthy, beautiful teeth after braces.
Don’t Put Pressure on Your Face
Did you know that putting pressure on your face can cause your teeth to shift?
This is especially true in the first few months after your braces have been removed. For this reason, it’s best to avoid putting any unnecessary pressure on your face, such as leaning on your hand at work or school. It’s also a good idea to sleep on your back for a while to protect your teeth after braces. Doing so can keep your teeth and gums from shifting.
Wear a Mouth Guard
For people who struggle with grinding their teeth at night, wearing a mouthguard can help. Not only will it keep your teeth in place in the same way a retainer will, but it can also keep your mouth in the best position to avoid dental and orthodontic problems. Mouthguards are also a good idea for people who participate in contact sports to keep their teeth safe and in place.
Don’t let the time, effort, and expense of wearing braces go to waste by not caring for your teeth when your braces come off. By taking the time to wear your retainer, practicing good oral health habits, and avoiding bad habits, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining the success of your post-braces smile for a lifetime. For more tips on keeping your smile healthy and straight, contact Schwab Orthodontics today!