How to Maintain Your Perfect Smile After Braces

Here at Shine Orthodontics, we know there’s no better feeling than finally getting those braces off! Congratulations!

Now that your braces are off, it’s important to remember to take great care of your smile in the follow-up period. There’s some important stuff going on at this time, and you’ll want to know everything you can to ensure your success. 

We asked Dr. McGrogan to sit down with us and talk about how to maintain your perfect smile after braces. So read on, and we’ll get right to it! 

Step 1 – Always Wear Your Retainer

The American Orthodontists Association maintains that the single-most-important determining factor in long-term orthodontic treatment outcomes is diligent use and maintenance of retainers. 

However, they also report that irregular retainer use becomes more common as time goes on, with up to 19% of patients reported not using their retainer after 2 years.  

You’ve worked hard over months or even years to get the best smile possible! Dr. McGrogan wants you to keep that smile, so be sure and get comfortable with that retainer! 

Let’s talk a little bit about maintaining your new best friend.

Caring for your retainer 

Your retainer is essential for maintaining alignment, so be sure and keep it clean and well-protected. You’ll want to wear your retainer at least 22 hours a day for the first six months or so, and have a high-quality cleaning fluid for soaking when it’s not in use. 

Be sure and avoid leaving your retainer near any significant heat sources, as these can cause it to warp its shape and become less effective. 

Be sure to keep your retainer safe when out of use. Dr. McGrogan can supply you with a back-up in case of emergencies.  

Step 2 – Practice solid dental hygiene.

Now that you’re out of braces, it’s time to ensure that you keep up a great habit of brushing in the morning and at night, as well as after snacks. 

One essential aspect of post-braces orthodontic success is maintaining a solid schedule of foundational oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly. 

For brushing: use a soft-bristled brush at a 45-degree angle for at least 2 minutes. Be sure and brush the insides of your teeth. These areas are often overlooked and essential for good oral health. 

The American Dental Association recommends you replace your brush once every three months for best results. 

Step 3 – Maintain a regular schedule of appointments.

Dr. McGrogan is thrilled to have helped you to this stage of your orthodontic journey. Your braces are off! But don’t forget to keep up with a regular schedule of check-ups and cleanings. 

Let’s keep that smile gleaming! An initial cleaning after removal is a great way to go, as there is a certain degree of expected plaque buildup during your treatment. You’ll probably want to come back about once every six months too.

Step 4 – Whitening 

Some patients choose to have a whitening procedure after getting their braces off. This is a popular option, and it can be a great way to offset some of the natural discoloration that is bound to occur during the braces process. Certain spots are just unreachable with them on, and here at Shine Orthodontics, we know you want to look your best. 

Just remember, your teeth will be a little sensitive in the first week or two after debonding, and a professional whitening could aggravate that sensitivity, so it’s best to wait a little while.  

Make your follow-up appointment today! 

At Shine Orthodontics, we’re proud of you for not only having finished your primary course of orthodontic care but also you took the time to read up on how to keep things moving in the right direction. Great job! 

Your next step should be to give us a call and schedule a follow-up. We’re grateful to be able to serve our community in the Holly Springs area, and that means you!  

At Shine, we never put the bottom line ahead of the individual. We know you don’t either, and we know that you’ll love your follow-up care at Shine Orthodontics. Call now!