There’s NO doubt about it! The most exciting moment of your WOW! Smiles™ journey is the day your braces come off to reveal your healthy, confident new smile! After months – and in some cases, years – of wearing braces, we know you’re ready to show the world your big accomplishment. Your smile story doesn’t end here, however. Learning how to maintain your smile after braces is your next step, and the team at WOW! Smiles™ is here to help you every step of the way! Check out our top main advice for post-braces care.
Tip #1: Wear. Your. Retainer.
We cannot emphasize this one enough! Wearing your retainer is the single most important thing you can do to maintain that beautiful new smile. Many patients underestimate the value of wearing a retainer as instructed by our WOW! Smiles™ team, but if you want to avoid wearing braces later in life or having to spend more money to get braces all over again, don’t fall into the habit of neglecting this tip.
Your teeth could begin shifting back to their original positions just days after your braces come off! For the best results possible, you’ll need to wear your retainer full time (22 hours/day) for the first year after you’re done with treatment. Remember, your teeth are used to the 24/7 force your braces applied during treatment, so this time frame allows your teeth to adjust to their new positions without shifting. Once you’ve worn your retainer full-time for a year, you can shift to nighttime wear for life.
Tip #2: Take Good Care of Your Retainer (Order a spare!)
Your retainer will be your smile’s best friend, so treat it with care! We’ll provide you with specific cleaning instructions for your retainer at your debonding appointment, but in general, you’ll want to brush it at least once a day using lukewarm water, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and a small amount of dish soap. This helps remove plaque and other debris. Avoid using a toothbrush, mouthwash, or denture cleaner on your retainer, as this can reduce its lifespan.
Be sure to remove your retainer when eating, flossing or brushing your teeth, or playing contact sports to keep it safe. You don’t want to lose it, so bring your retainer case with you wherever you go.
It’s also a good idea to be proactive in case you do lose your retainer, or your dog eats it, or a bird flies in and carries it away. Be sure to ask our teams how you can take advantage of our FREE digital scan and get a $100 spare retainer for emergencies! You definitely want to take advantage of this great deal, as our same-day in-house retainer replacements can cost $200/arch! To order a spare retainer today, visit: SPARE RETAINER PROGRAM
Tip #3: Keep Up With Your Oral Hygiene Routine
If you brushed, flossed, and rinsed dependably throughout your treatment, this will be easy for you—just keep doing what you’ve been doing! If you slacked on brushing and flossing towards the end of your treatment, there’s no better time than the present to get back into a regular dental hygiene routine. Our doctors recommend brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing every night before bed to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape.
In addition to brushing and flossing every day, you should try to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking anything other than plain water. This is especially useful if you consume a fair amount of sugar in your food and drinks. Rinsing with water will cut down on the amount of sugar that adheres to the teeth and help prevent tooth decay. Rinsing after drinking dark beverages like coffee, tea, and wine can also prevent staining.
Tip #4: Take It Easy While You Adjust to Post-Treatment Life
Your teeth needed time to adjust to wearing an orthodontic appliance, so it makes sense that they would also need time to adjust post-treatment. This is less of an issue with removable clear aligners like Invisalign, but if you’ve been wearing our Pitts 21 self-ligating braces, you may find that your teeth are a bit sensitive after our WOW! Smiles™ team removes the brackets. This sensitivity will only be temporary, but you can help minimize discomfort by avoiding extremely hot and cold foods for a few days after your appliance is removed. Using toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth can also provide relief.
Tip #5: Schedule Regular Check-ups with Your Dentist
Getting a dental cleaning right after your braces are removed is an excellent idea since your dental team will be able to remove any plaque that’s accumulated while you were wearing them. A post-treatment dental exam will also help you catch any issues that may need attention and keep your new smile bright and shiny.
But don’t stop there! Scheduling regular dental check-ups every six months or so will help prevent gum and dental issues that could undermine the investment you’ve made in your oral health with orthodontics.
Tip #6: Consider Tooth Whitening Treatments
Decalcification occurs after treatment and can result in opaque white spots on the teeth. Many patients opt for teeth whitening treatments to brighten their newly straightened smile, so if you feel like your teeth look a little stained or discolored after a dental cleaning, you may want to explore these options!
Whitening toothpaste is another easy solution for teeth that need a bit of a whitening boost, while in-office or at-home treatments should be available through your dentist.
Remember that your teeth may be temporarily sensitive following your debonding appointment; some whitening treatments can also cause increased tooth sensitivity, so you may want to wait a while before adding in any whitening treatments.
Everyone Deserves a Smile that WOWs!
At WOW! Smiles™, our team is dedicated to giving you the best treatment possible, so you can gain the confidence you deserve. We offer easy financing and treatment for all ages. You can even get braces the SAME DAY you visit our office for a FREE exam!
Don’t wait! Schedule your free consultation at one of our WOW! Smiles™ locations today!