How to Care for Your Teeth After Braces

Is it time for those braces to finally come off? If so, then we say a huge congratulations! It’s a huge achievement to go through orthodontic treatment and experience the world with a confident, straight smile. Knowing that your teeth are in their ideal position for teeth and jaw health feels pretty great, too. 

Don’t let the excitement keep you from prioritizing taking care of your teeth now that the braces are gone. Dr. Williams at Williams Orthodontics shares his three essential tips, and then we have a few extra ideas for you to keep in mind just in case! Let’s go!

3 Top Care Tips

Wearing and Caring for Your New Retainer

You knew we wouldn’t forget to talk about your retainers once your braces are off. Being diligent about consistently wearing retainers as instructed by your orthodontist is the biggest factor for you to maintain your stunning straight smile. Don’t let that go to waste by forgetting or misplacing your retainer at every turn.

It’s also important to keep your retainer clean. A dirty retainer has dried saliva on it that typically contains plaque and bacteria from the last time you wore it. It’s not appealing to put a dirty retainer in your mouth, and it’s not sanitary either. 

Clean your removable retainers thoroughly at least once per day to help remove the plaque and bacteria that can build up on them. Do this by using lukewarm water to rinse and brush the retainer with a gentle cleanser and a toothbrush. Don’t use toothpaste that can cause micro scratches on the plastic or acrylic of your retainer, and instead use an alcohol-free mouthwash or hand soap. Scrub the retainer with the toothbrush and solution, and rinse thoroughly. Now it should be clean and ready for the next use.

If you notice your retainer is dingey and not getting clean by brushing, you should consider soaking it in a denture solution like Polident. These solutions can help lift the stuck-on grime and make it easier to scrub away any build-up. 

Daily Hygiene Routine

Included in your daily retainer cleaning should be your regular dental hygiene routine. It might seem obvious to say, but we’ll say it anyway: you should be brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing every day. The good news is that brushing and flossing are easier than ever without braces on! Just remember: now is not the time to slack off. Keep those teeth in great shape for life with daily oral health habits.

If you like, you can also consider adding a rinse with mouthwash for additional germ-killing powers and fluoride. And if you find frequent flossing to be a challenge, try a water flosser instead. They are small devices that shoot a jet of water into your mouth, washing away plaque between teeth. Whatever works for you to keep your mouth clean is a great option!

Dental Cleanings

Just because you’ve been to the orthodontist’s office regularly over the past year or two, doesn’t mean that you don’t need a visit to the dentist, too! Your dentist is the best place to go right after your braces are off because they can get the deep clean that has been missing since the brackets and wires have been on your teeth. Think of it as a self-care treatment and enjoy knowing that the plaque and tartar have been thoroughly removed from all the nooks and crannies of your mouth, setting you up for great dental health and long-term success.  

The Extras

Teeth whitening

What better time to brighten your smile than after the braces come off? If you’re into it, go for it! Though we do have a few suggestions to help you choose the whitening system that might work best for you and your needs. 

If you notice spots and discoloration on your teeth after getting your braces off, it could be from a lack of thorough cleaning while your braces were on. Whatever the reason, these stains can be difficult to remove with conventional methods, in which case we recommend professional whitening that can often be done at your dentist. This is a more expensive choice, but the results will speak for themselves and should last a long time.

If you have even-colored teeth that just need a boost, you should consider store-bought whitening kits. These are more affordable and effective in giving you a brightening boost! If cost is a big factor for you, try out a whitening toothpaste! These can still give great results without the higher price point. 

Sensitive Teeth

One last thing for you to be aware of as you adjust to life without braces is the short-term teeth sensitivity that occurs for some patients. Not everyone will experience this, but for those that do, it can be disconcerting to find yourself having unusual sensitivity after braces come off. Because your teeth have been covered up by brackets and wires for so long, it can take a bit for them to adjust to hot and cold temperatures again. Be patient, this symptom should be short-lived!

How to Care for Your Teeth After Braces

Your Orthodontic Team Is Here

Regardless of where you are on your orthodontic journey, our team at Williams Orthodontics is ready to care for your unique needs. Dr. Williams has helped so many patients transform their smiles with orthodontics and he wants you to be the next ‘before and after’! Ready to get started? Get in touch with us at one of our offices in El Dorado or Monroe, and discover your most beautiful smile.