Posted on March 12th, 2021
Check out our top tips for maintaining your amazing smile after orthodontic treatment.
There’s no doubt that modern orthodontic treatment is much more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing than that of decades past. Even so, after months or even years of wearing braces or Invisalign®, the last thing you want is to feel insecure about your smile.
Even worse would be to have to go through it all over again because your teeth have started shifting—hard pass!!
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about any of that, because we have you covered: Just follow our tips for maintaining your smile after orthodontic treatment, and you’ll be proudly flashing your pearly (and straight) whites for years and years to come.
Tips for Maintaining Your Smile After Orthodontic Treatment
TIP 1 Ease Into Post-Orthodontic Treatment Life
Just as your teeth needed time to adjust to wearing braces, they will also need an adjustment period after your braces are removed.
This means that your teeth may be a bit sensitive when your braces first come off—but don’t worry, it’s only temporary.
To minimize any discomfort, avoid extremely hot and cold foods for the first several days after your de-banding. You may also want to use a toothpaste that’s specially formulated for sensitive teeth.
Lastly, give your teeth time to get used to their new positions before diving into those super hard and crunchy foods you avoided during treatment.
TIP 2 Get a Thorough Dental Check-up and Cleaning
Getting regular dental check-ups and cleanings is important whether you have had orthodontic treatment or not.
But it is an especially good idea right after you get your braces removed so that your dentist can remove plaque that may have built up while you were wearing them.
TIP 3 Consider Tooth Whitening After Orthodontic Treatment
If your teeth still look yellow or stained after you’ve had a professional cleaning, you may want to have your dentist give you tooth whitening treatment to create a more sparkling smile.
If your teeth need a less dramatic boost, you could opt for a whitening toothpaste that brightens them more subtly over time.
Whichever path you take to whiter teeth, just keep in mind the initial sensitivity we mentioned above; because of that, you may need to wait several weeks before you whiten.
TIP 4 Wear Your Retainer as Instructed
We can’t stress this enough: WEAR. YOUR. RETAINER.
The single most common reason you would need to undergo a second round of orthodontic treatment is because you didn’t wear your retainer often enough.
This is because your teeth have a tendency to want to go back to their original placement after being adjusted, particularly in the first weeks and months after treatment.
So, say it with us: “I love my retainer and it loves me.”
Repeat often. Preferably, while wearing your retainer.
TIP 5 Maintain Your Retainer
Treat your retainer like it is your post-orthodontic smile’s best friend—because it is.
This means keeping it squeaky clean by brushing it regularly and giving it a weekly deep cleaning (or whatever cleaning instructions your orthodontist provides, if different).
So many retainers have gone the way of the garbage can because people wrapped them in a napkin while eating, then threw said napkin away. Avoid this rookie mistake by bringing a hard case with you wherever you go; that way you’ll have a safe place to stash your retainer when needed.
TIP 6Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Habits
If you followed your orthodontist’s recommendations and brushed, flossed, and rinsed faithfully while wearing braces or Invisalign®, then this tip will be easy—just keep doing what you’ve been doing.
If not, there is no better time than the present to improve on your oral hygiene routine:
In addition to brushing twice and flossing once daily, you should rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking (anything other than plain water). This is particularly important when you consume sugary foods and drinks, as you will cut down on the amount of sugars that adhere to the teeth and prevent the decay process from starting.
You’ll also want to rinse after drinking dark or pigmented beverages like coffee, tea, or wine to prevent staining.
TIP 7 Visit the Dentist Regularly
After your initial post-orthodontic dental exam and cleaning, it is important that you keep up with regular dental check-ups to maintain your amazing smile. Doing so will help prevent gun and dental issues that could sabotage the investment you made in your smile when you underwent orthodontic treatment.
Whether you recently completed braces or Invisalign® treatment, or are planning for the big reveal down the road, we hope you find these tips for maintaining your smile after orthodontic treatment helpful.
And if you’re in the Vancouver, WA area and are still wondering if orthodontic treatment is right for you, get in touch with us to set up your free consultation and exam, where we will go over your treatment options and answer any questions you have.