It will be an exciting time for any patient when they realize that their braces will be coming off soon. While they are sure to enjoy their straight and healthy new smile, this is no time to slack off when it comes to oral health and hygiene. If you or a loved one is preparing to have any form of braces taken off, then take a look at these simple tips to protect and maintain your bright, straight, and healthy new smile.
Almost every patient that gets their braces off will enter into the “retention” stage in which they will maintain the new changes to their teeth with a retainer. Retainers vary widely in style and your doctor will inform you of which options will best suit your own needs. Constantly worrying about a retainer may seem unnecessary now that your smile is straighter than ever, but it will not take much for your teeth to slowly transition back to their old positions. All patients should strictly adhere to all instructions about how and when to wear their retainer in the coming months.
Be Ready for Changes to Your Teeth and Gums
Many patients are surprised to see just how much their teeth and gums will change in those first few weeks after having their braces removed. Many will experience some inflammation or even minor bleeding as their brushing and flossing becomes more frequent and thorough. As long as the inflammation and bleeding are minimal, these changes are to be expected. If the bleeding lasts for more than a few days or the inflammation has led to serious discomfort, then you should schedule an appointment with your orthodontist immediately.
Caring for Retainers
Retainers are relatively fragile devices that can be easily broken or bent. If you happen to bend, break, or lose your retainer, then you must immediately contact the orthodontist for a replacement. Even one or two nights spent without the retainer may cause discomfort once a replacement is acquired. Patients should also regularly brush and rinse their retainer. Just as food debris can become stuck in the mouth and cause cavities, it can also become stuck in the small nooks of a retainer and lead to the growth of bacteria.
One common service that many patients want after having their braces removed is teeth whitening. Instead of going with a home teeth-whitening kit that can damage teeth or cause pain, patients should consider having their teeth whitened professionally. Wearing braces for an extended period can lead to splotchy discoloration. Teeth whitening are a great way to give patients a leg up when it comes to revitalizing their smile. When combined with impeccable oral hygiene habits at home, professional teeth whitening can make teeth brighter for months on end.
For more great information about caring for your teeth after braces, contact Grace and Bowman Orthodontics. Our staff, led by Dr. Brodie Bowman, will work with you or your child to create a post-treatment care plan that works for you.