Here at Shine Orthodontics, we know you’ve worked hard to get your braces off. Now the time is finally here! That is, chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re either nearly finished with this phase of your treatment, or you’ve recently had your braces removed.
Congratulations! Getting your braces off is a big step. Of course, now you’ve entered a whole new phase of your treatment. That’s right! You’re not totally off the hook!
We asked Dr. McGrogan to lay down some of the typical steps necessary in caring for your teeth after getting your braces off, plus to lay down tips for what to expect. Read on to learn more!
Step 1 – How does removal work?
Your braces fit snugly in place on your teeth for months and years at a time. Luckily, they were also designed to come off easily once the time was right. Dr. McGrogan will simply loosen the brackets to the point they can be removed, after which she’ll buff off the remaining adhesive.
Step 2 – Manage any discomfort.
You shouldn’t have to worry about too much pain associated with the removal of your braces. However, a little discomfort is totally normal. Feel free to take a simple over-the-counter medication such as Ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage any pain.
Step 3 – Retainer, Retainer, Retainer!
Seriously. It’s all about your retainer after getting your braces off. Studies show that many patients discontinue retainer use after the first few months and that this is far and away the most common cause of further orthodontic difficulties down the road.
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 it to soak in when it’s out.
Be sure and avoid leaving your retainer near any major heat sources, as these can cause it to warp its shape and become less effective.
It goes without saying, but be sure to keep your retainer safe when out of use. You should also consider having a backup on hand, just in case.
Step 4 – Keep that smile clean!
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.
You’ve been diligent so far, and now that the goal of your ideal smile is closer than ever, make sure to brush often and properly: use soft bristles at a 45-degree angle for at least 2 minutes at a time. Be sure and brush the insides of your teeth – just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t just as crucial for a healthy mouth!
A new brush is a happy brush. Make sure you’re swapping your brush out every three months or so to keep things moving in the right direction.
Step 5 – Come back and see us!
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 6 – How about a glow-up?
Some patients choose to have a whitening procedure after getting their braces off. That’s A-Ok, 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.
We can’t wait to see you again!
Dr. McGrogan and the team here at Shine Orthodontics are so proud of you! It was a long road, and it should be smooth sailing from here on in. Dr. McGrogan got into the practice because she cares about the people around him and wants to help them unlock their full potential – and that means you. We’re proud to put smiles on the faces of our friends and neighbors here in Holly Springs. Give us a call today, and let’s keep working together to brighten that beautiful smile!