As you look at your new smile in the mirror at Dietrich & Kelso, you might be wondering what you can do to keep it looking this amazing.
When you get your braces removed, there’s plenty that you should and can do to conserve your alignment. Let’s look at just some of the things you can do to protect your new look.
Wear Your Retainer!
A retainer is a fixed or removable orthodontic appliance that holds the teeth in place while the mouth stabilizes. You see, during active treatment (braces), the bones and ligaments in your jaw break down or soften to allow for teeth movement. Unfortunately, when we remove your braces, those bones and ligaments are still in the perfect state for teeth movement. Without anything to stop them, your teeth will take advantage of that and try to shift back to their original locations!
Did you know it takes as little as one day without your removable retainer to notice a visible difference in teeth placement? It’s true! One of the main reasons people have orthodontic relapse is improperly wearing the removable retainer over an extended period. Wearing your retainer as directed preserves your new smile and prevents orthodontic relapse.
Brush Your teeth! And Floss!
Before you even called Dietrich & Kelso Orthodontics for the first time, you likely heard your dentist talk about the importance of a consistent oral hygiene routine with healthy habits. Then, throughout your orthodontic journey, you had to hear it from your dentist and the entire orthodontic staff at Dietrich & Kelso Orthodontics. That’s how important it is!
Proper brushing and flossing twice a day can drastically affect the health of your mouth. These practices remove bacteria, plaque, and germs that cause tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, bad breath, and other issues.
Just because your braces are gone does not mean you can start neglecting your regimen! To keep your teeth as attractive and healthy as they were the day you finished active treatment, maintain proper oral hygiene.
Bonus Tip: If you didn’t use a water flosser when you had your braces on, we strongly recommend you add it to your routine! It helps remove stubborn residue left behind by brushing and thread flossing for a cleaner mouth.
See Your Dentist!
A yearly checkup with your dentist is essential to your oral hygiene routine. Your hygienist photographs, X-rays, and cleans your mouth at this appointment. After, your dentist will look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, infection, mouth cancer, and other problems. If necessary, they will devise a treatment plan with you.
Your dentist can also take this time to address any concerns you have about your oral health and help you improve your routine.
These yearly sessions don’t take up much of your time, but they allow you to find and treat issues before they can create severe and lasting damage to your health and smile.
Take Care Of Your Retainer!
You’ll be wearing your retainer for hours every day and night, and to make that idea more appealing, you need to clean it! Your retainer spends a lot of time in your mouth, where bacteria, plaque, and germs accumulate. These undesirable things can also be found on your retainer! Luckily, cleaning only takes a couple of minutes a day. How to best clean your retainer depends on your kind and style, so be sure to ask your orthodontist for care instructions when you receive your appliance!
If you have a removable retainer, you should always put it in its protective carrying case when you’re not wearing it! The case protects them from physical damage and germs and makes them easier to keep up with.
Lost or damaged retainers can always be replaced, but for best retention results, you should wear and carefully maintain your retainers.
Attend All Follow-Up Orthodontic Appointments!
After you get a retainer, you will be scheduled for more appointments with us at Dietrich & Kelso Orthodontics. While we love seeing you, these appointments are not just so we can remain friends. They are to monitor your alignment and ensure your retainer is doing its job! We want to keep an eye on your alignment to catch and correct any unwanted shifts early. We can also adjust your retainer and supply you with orthodontic wax to make the retention process is more comfortable.
Dietrich & Kelso Is Here For You Before, During, And After Braces!
Your orthodontic journey should be as comfortable, stress-free, and quick as possible. We begin providing excellent customer service and care the moment you first contact us, and we continue to do so during and after treatment for years to come!
If you are a current patient and want to learn more about retention before your braces are removed or have questions about your retainer or its care, please contact us! If you are a new patient who wants to learn more about braces or retainers, schedule a free consultation to discover what we can do for you! We have eight conveniently located offices fully staffed with knowledgeable and passionate team members who would be happy to assist!
We’re excited to help you improve or maintain your smile!