Most people believe that orthodontic treatment is as simple as wearing braces or clear aligners for a few years. While this is a major part of the process, orthodontic treatment isn’t over when the Koerich Orthodontics team takes your braces off! Whether you’re a kid, teen, or adult, straightening your teeth requires two steps: active treatment and retention.
When active treatment is over, and it’s time to start the retention phase, learning how to maintain your smile after braces is your next step. Fortunately, Dr. Lindsey and Dr. Leo are here to help you on your journey! Keep reading to learn more.
Use Your Retainer!
Wearing your retainer is a huge part of avoiding a shifting smile. Whether you have a removable or permanent retainer, these appliances play a major factor in how straight your teeth remain once active treatment brings them to a baseline.
Without wearing your retainer as instructed by your orthodontic provider, your teeth will likely shift into their original positions over the long or short term. In some cases, they can shift in as little as a few days; in other cases, it takes years. Either way, you may need a second round of treatment to pull them back into line and give you a straight smile you’ll love.
#1: Wearing your retainer appropriately is so important to the overall usability of your retainer. Make sure that your retainer fits snugly over your teeth when you have it in.
#2: Retainers are meant to be worn practically 24 hours a day, but you should take them out when you clean your teeth in the morning and night, when you play sports, and when you eat to ensure that it stands the test of time.
#3: If you want to keep your retainer useful in the long run, it is absolutely essential that you learn how to remove it properly. Use both hands to gently and steadily pull the retainer away from your teeth. Don’t use your tongue!
Keep Going to Your Follow-Up Visits!
We want to continue to see your bright, shining new smile! It is so important to the maintenance of your straight teeth that you keep showing up to follow-up visits at Koerich Orthodontics. This helps your orthodontic team know if any adjustments are needed or if it is time to replace your retainer. It also allows you to keep an open line of communication with Dr. Lindsey and Dr. Leo as any questions or concerns with your new retainer pop up.
Whiten Your Smile
Because your brackets covered parts of each tooth, it’s common to feel like your teeth are a little discolored after we remove them. So now that your braces are off, it’s a great idea to consider whitening treatments to really bring out the best in your smile. Try a whitening toothpaste, or better yet, choose a whitening treatment from your dentist’s office!
Trust the Koerich Orthodontics Team
Taking care of your smile is a huge responsibility, so you want a team you can trust standing behind you every step of the way. Whether you just got your braces off or you’re a retainer pro, contact our office with questions about maintaining your straight smile.