Wondering how to take care of your teeth after braces? You’re in the right place! Maintaining good oral care is important at all times. Whether you are wearing your braces or not, you must have the same healthy routine for the rest of your life. A few challenges may arise once you take your braces off, but your dental hygiene is paramount to prevent a recurrence of wearing them again.
Taking off your braces is the end of a long and sometimes challenging journey. Therefore, you must observe post-orthodontic care to avoid complications. If you have just taken off your braces and are wondering how to take care of your teeth after braces, keep reading to find valuable tips to help you maintain that healthy smile.
Reasons To Take Care Of Your Teeth After Braces
Keep Your Teeth Straight
You went through months of wearing braces to keep your teeth aligned, and once you take them off, you don’t need to jeopardize all the efforts you made. Instead, follow the instructions from your orthodontist to make sure they stay in place.
Avoid Tooth Stains and Plaque
Tooth stains and plaque are common and tend to build up where your brackets used to be. Regular cleaning will ensure they stay clean and avoid teeth problems.
Tips To Take Care Of Your Teeth After Braces
If you are wondering how to take care of your teeth after braces, below are some valuable tips to help you maintain top-notch oral care.
Schedule A Professional Teeth Cleaning Appointment
Once your braces are removed, you will notice some stains where the brackets used to be. These stains are unavoidable, as with braces; it is difficult to clean under them. In addition, the longer you keep your braces on, the more likely you are to have strong stains and plaque.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist for teeth cleaning. A professional dental cleaner will clean the stains and remove plaque buildup, leaving you with a pearly white smile.
Try A Teeth Whitening Treatment
After months spent wearing braces, you need to treat yourself to a teeth-whitening treatment. The discoloration right after you take off your braces can be disheartening, but worry not; you will start noticing some changes within a few weeks.
You can consult your dentist for a teeth cleaning service to help you restore your smile. Your dentist will recommend a tooth whitening kit or whitening toothpaste to help you improve the appearance of your teeth. You will need to exercise a lot of patience, as part of how to take care of your teeth after braces requires that you give your teeth time because the process will be gradual.
Wear Your Retainer
One of the best ways to take care of your teeth after braces is to wear your retainer. Right after your braces come off, your orthodontist will make you a retainer by taking impressions of your teeth. A retainer is a good way of holding your teeth and keeping them in position just as they were when you had braces on.
Long after you take off your braces, the preceding months will be critical for your tooth alignment. During this time, your teeth are at risk of moving and becoming misaligned again. The last thing you want is your time and effort to wear braces for months or years to go down the drain in just a few weeks. It is why you must wear your retainer diligently until your orthodontist gives permission to proceed to take it off.
After your braces, you will wear your retainer frequently, but with time, you will eventually wear it only at night.
Clean Your Retainer
One way of taking care of your teeth after braces is to maintain high levels of dental hygiene. Since you will be wearing your retainers often, remember to always clean them. Putting on your retainer after brushing your teeth exposes you to bacteria if you have not cleaned them as well. So make it a habit to clean them when you are cleaning your teeth.
You can easily clean your retainer just as you clean your teeth using a toothbrush and toothpaste. Ask your orthodontist for the proper cleaning method to avoid damaging them.
In addition, get a retainer case to keep your retainer safe when you are not using it. For example, when eating, most people take their retainers off and set them aside. You could easily lose them or expose them to bacteria. A retainer case keeps them from bacteria exposure and lessens the risk of losing them.
Be Diligent With Your Dental Routine At Home
Getting braces is a huge investment in your teeth. Therefore, it is only proper that you take intentional steps to reap the benefits of your investment. Good dental hygiene at home requires dedication to maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. Some of the ways of to take care of your teeth after braces while at home include:
- Ensure you brush your teeth after every meal. When you chew food, some particles tend to remain behind, and if left for long, they can damage your teeth. Cleaning after eating keeps the bacteria at bay.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for your teeth. You need to be gentle when brushing your teeth to avoid irritating your gums. Vigorous brushing could lead to bleeding gums and, if not checked immediately, could affect your teeth.
- Replace your toothbrush after every 3 or 4 months. Toothbrushes tend to become obsolete after several uses and may not perform their intended job.
- Floss at least once a day to remove food particles and prevent plaque build-up. Although you may brush regularly, your toothbrush cannot access certain areas. Flossing ensures to reach in between the teeth and remove the food particles. If not removed, you risk the food particles hardening and forming plaque around your teeth.
- Although mouthwash is optional, it would not hurt to use it and give your teeth an extra layer of protection. You need to explore as many ways as possible of how to take care of your teeth after braces.
- Stay hydrated by drinking and rinsing your mouth with water regularly. Sugary foods, tea, and coffee are known to cause toothstains. Regular rinsing washes off any remains and keeps your teeth white. In addition, stay away from hard water or use water softeners. Long-term effects of drinking hard water can cause teeth discoloration.
Keep Your Stress Levels Down
Another way of how to take care of your teeth after braces are to keep your stress levels down. You may be wondering how stress affects your dental care, but they are closely related. When you are stressed, you tend to bite your nails, clench your teeth, or eat sugary foods. Unfortunately, you may not be aware that you are doing all this and that it is terrible for your teeth.
When you clench your jaws, grind your teeth, and tense, you expose your teeth to risks. In addition, clenching the muscles around your jaw could affect how your joints work and alter your smile and mouth movement. If this goes on for long, your joints may be dislocated and you may need restorative dentistry to help correct it. Although they can be treated, the best treatment is preventative oral care.
You need to calm down and find ways to manage your stress levels to avoid affecting your teeth and damaging the time and money spent on braces.
Complications After Braces And How To Avoid Them
To maintain your beautiful smile, you need to practice good dental care and avoid common teeth and gum diseases that commonly occur after braces.
Braces exert pressure on your teeth and gums and can lead to complications later after taking them off. Some of the common complications include:
When the gum tissue around your teeth gets pushed back and exposes the roots, you may have a gum recession. People who have braces or recently taken them off are more likely to experience receding gums. When the roots are exposed, the teeth are at risk of decay, infections, or loss in more severe cases. Sometimes, gum recession is a genetic disease, and in such cases, your family dentist can advise you on the best treatment.
You need to watch out for these symptoms to know how to take care of your teeth after braces as part of your post-brace dental care.
- Sensitive teeth when exposed to cold or hot foods and drinks
- Loose teeth
- Gum pain
- Change in the appearance of teeth. For example, the tooth appears abnormally longer.
Dentists will often suggest gentle brushing of teeth to reduce sensitivity. You can purchase a soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid irritating the gums and worsening the situation.
Headaches and migraines are common side effects of wearing braces. Your orthodontist will be adjusting your braces tightly after each visit, which stretches your nerves and tissues. Once they are removed, and your teeth start adjusting, you may experience slight discomfort.
This can cause you a headache. If you experience discomfort, you need to know how to take care of your teeth after braces. For example, you can massage your gums gently with your fingers to ease the pain. Alternatively, you can get over-the-counter painkillers to reduce inflammation, but consult your dentist if the headaches persist.
Life Adjustment After Braces
Your life will definitely change after you take your braces off. In the beginning, you may have trouble adjusting, but with time, you will get used to your new lifestyle. Some of the adjustments you can expect to make include:
Change in diet
Eating will feel different, as, with braces, you have limitations to eating certain foods. This will all change as you can now bite into apples and other crunchy foods. However, you will need to be careful, as your teeth may still be sensitive. You can start by eating small amounts and see how your teeth feel.
If there is any sensitivity or you experience a toothache, you may need to cut off crunchy foods for a while until your teeth are stable again. Your choice of drinks will also change, especially if you want to get rid of tooth discoloration. Coffee, tea, and sugary drinks will have to be off your diet. You can drink them occasionally but ensure to rinse off or brush your teeth right after.
You will gain confidence
The majority of people who wear braces are looking to enhance their appearance. Very few are dental emergencies that require braces. Nevertheless, once your braces come off, your new smile will boost your confidence. It may be strange at first to get used to your new smile, but within no time, you will find yourself always smiling.
You will gain more confidence and even start talking more. Some people change their bathrooms to include more mirrors so that they can admire their smile even more. If you are feeling the same way, you can contact bathroom remodeling services to revamp yours too. This is also a good way of building your dental care and encouraging you to stay on track.
Getting your braces off can be an exciting experience, but you still have a lot of work to do to maintain that healthy smile. You may be a bit disappointed with discoloration, but you will get rid of the stains with teeth cleaning and whitening treatment.
Remember to observe good dental hygiene after your braces come off. It would be a shame if you wore braces for years only to undo the progress in a few weeks. Your after-braces lifestyle will require a few adjustments, but worry not; they are all for the good of your overall dental health.