You decided on braces for yourself or your child for countless reasons: a straighter smile, improved oral health, a boost in confidence…the list goes on. Once your braces are off, you want those positive life changes to last, not fade away as crookedness returns. It’s normal to experience minor shifting after braces, but your orthodontists do everything possible to avoid this. We just need some help from you. Be sure to follow these daily habits below to see a lifelong straight smile and permanent orthodontic results.
How to Maintain Straight Teeth after Orthodontic Treatment
- Don’t panic if teeth settle after treatment – It’s normal for the teeth to settle immediately after your braces come off. Braces hold your teeth so tightly that it’s tough for a retainer to mimic the same force. You lose that total control over your bite, with daily wear and pressure from your tongue, from biting, and from regular habits returning. Your orthodontist will plan for this, and do their best to ensure that the settling takes place in a positive way (even adding a final improvement to the bite). The settling should only be minor, and if you experience anything more dramatic, contact us right away.
- Wear your retainers – Retainers help prevent additional shifting, and keep your teeth in their new positions. Some patients receive removable retainers, and others receive fixed retainers – in some situations, fixed retainers help maintain greater control over orthodontic results. If you feel that your teeth are shifting post-braces, let us know so that we can determine the need for bonded retainers. If you have removable retainers, wear them as instructed to solidify your orthodontic results.
- Report to your orthodontist regularly – We want to make sure that you’re healthy and feeling happy after treatment, and we need to check in with you from time to time to check on your teeth. Keep these appointments so that we can stay in the loop.
- Take great care of your teeth – Brush and floss regularly (now that your braces are off, it’s simpler than ever – no excuse for skipping oral hygiene)! Keeping your smile cavity- and gum disease-free will help lower the risk of shifting teeth in your future.