It’s finally time for the braces to come off. You might have been waiting for this day for a long time, maybe years, and now it’s here at last. You give your orthodentist a visit, and he cuts off the wires and takes off the braces, and it’s done. What do you do now?
For starters, your mouth will likely feel a little strange after having braces for so long. Some of the things you can expect after the removal include:
- Tender teeth – Removing your braces is a bit like putting them on, but in reverse. Your orthodontist may have to apply some force to get them off your teeth. It doesn’t hurt (so no worries there), but you might notice your gums and teeth feel tender once this is done. It sometimes feels the same way after the wires have been adjusted; stay away from hard foods for a while yet to get used to the feeling.
- Eating feels strange – Wearing braces requires a few adjustments to your lifestyle, and it can take a while to get used to not having them anymore. You may take a while to get used to eating foods you had to avoid when you had to wear braces. It can be exciting getting back to eating foods like apples and gum, but it can be fun to have your dietary freedom again too.
- Calluses – After wearing braces for so long, you’ll have developed some calluses inside the mouth. These calluses develop where the hardware has rubbed against your mouth—just like how calluses develop on your hands and feet. You may not have noticed them before removal, because the calluses corresponded to the braces. They will eventually go away now that you don’t have anything rubbing against the side of your mouth anymore.
- Easier brushing and flossing – When you have braces, you have to brush between the wires to catch any loose food stuck there. You also have to be careful when flossing to avoid getting caught in the cables. Brushing and flossing might be easier for you from now on. Keep brushing and flossing regularly to keep your teeth clean, especially with your new diet.
After your braces are removed, it’s critical you make another appointment with your dentist for a dental cleaning. While you had your braces, there may have been some bacteria buildup that needs to be removed to keep your teeth healthy. A good dental cleaning can get rid of any tartar you missed and let you get a good start with your new braces-free life.
However, simply because your braces are off doesn’t mean the treatments are over. Your teeth may shift back into place after the braces come off, so the retainer helps keep your teeth where they should be. Follow your dentist’s instructions when they give you the retainer. Wear it for at least as long you’re instructed, maybe longer, to ensure your teeth stay in place.
Retainers are custom-fitted for your mouth for a comfortable fit. However, they can sometimes take some getting used to. Expect some difficulty talking and excess saliva at first. That’s normal, and you’ll get used to your retainers eventually.
Take good care of your retainers to help your teeth stay in place after you’ve had your braces removed. To make it easier, try these tips to make the task easier. After all, you want your teeth to stay straight after all the time and effort you spent with your braces.
- Clean it regularly – There are some easy ways to keep your retainer clean. Clean it thoroughly after wearing them to remove any germs and bacteria. Scrub carefully with a toothbrush to clean it. Avoid using toothpaste; toothpaste can cause scratches where food can get stuck when you wear it.
- Brush frequently – Regular brushing is good for your teeth and your retainer. Always brush before and after wearing the retainer. It’s an excellent way to keep your retainer clean and your teeth germ-free. Be thorough to catch any bacteria that may get left behind on the retainer.
- Wear them often – It’s essential that you wear the retainer as long as your orthodontist tells you to preserve your new smile. Keep wearing your retainer; it only works when you wear it!
- Avoid heat – Retainers are pre-fitted to the shape of your mouth to help keep the teeth where they’re supposed to be. Heat can warp the retainer’s shape and make it ill-fitting. Keep yours away from hot spots (like window sills and inside the car) and avoid using hot water to clean your retainer to help it keep its form.
- Put it on with care – Always put your retainer on and take it off carefully. Make sure it’s on all the way and that there’s no space between it and your tongue. When taking it off, avoid flipping it off with your tongue or pulling too hard to one side. Instead, loosen in several places first, then ease it off gently. Afterward, always put your retainer in its case, so you know where it is when you need to put it on later.
Finally, after you’ve taken care of all the things you need to do to safeguard your teeth, you can start enjoying the smile you’ve waited so long to get. Your teeth are straight and even now, and you can start enjoying your smile, especially in pictures. Smile big and smile often, you’ve earned it!
When you need reliable family dentistry, then Dr. Mark Rhody Dentistry is the place for you. Our team always puts your needs first, and we strive to make you feel at home whenever you visit. We offer a caring environment and compassionate care to help you feel at ease when you need us. Give us a call at (416) 231-4281 or visit our contact page and get on the road to a brilliant new smile.