Whether you’ve worn traditional metal braces, or embraced the new trend for clear braces, once you’ve achieved the straight teeth you always dreamed of you’ll want to keep them that way. Your teeth will naturally want to move back to their original position after your braces are removed, so to prevent a relapse and keep your teeth straight after braces here’s what you need to do.
- Wear your retainer
The most important thing you can do to keep your teeth straight after braces is to wear your retainer. How long and how often you need to wear your retainer for will depend on your dentist’s assessment of your teeth, and of course there is more than one type of retainer that may be appropriate for you:
- Permanent glued retainer: This is a thin stainless steel wire bonded to the back of your front teeth, so that it’s invisible to everyone. Having one of these means you need to be extra careful about cleaning around the area, but it also means that you don’t have to remember to wear it.
- Clear removable retainer: These look like delicate plastic gum shields and they are made to fit your teeth exactly. If you don’t wear your retainer for a while and try to fit these over them only to find that you teeth have moved, you can snap the plastic trying to force them so it’s essential that you wear them all the times you are supposed to.
After your braces are removed, you’ll have to wear your retainers pretty constantly (unless they are permanently bonded retainers), unless you’re eating, in order to retain your straight teeth. After a while you’ll be able to cut this down to night time wear only but it is essential that you keep up this practice if you want your teeth to maintain their position.
- Look after your teeth
Looking after your teeth will help to ensure you keep beautiful, even rows of pearly whites. Having your braces removed doesn’t mean you can be lax with your oral hygiene and you’ll still need to brush and floss regularly to maintain your gum health and keep your teeth healthy. If you experience any problems with your teeth or gums after having your braces removed talk to your dentist straight away. You should also always protect your teeth if you play any kind of contact sports – so if your existing mouth guard doesn’t fit you properly since your braces came off, it’s time to get a new one.
- Watch for any signs of shifting – wisdom teeth later in life
No one knows your smile like you do, so if you notice anything different or it feels like your teeth are shifting keep an eye on this and speak to your dentist if you are concerned. In some cases, people think that their teeth are shifting due to wisdom teeth erupting, but it’s more likely due to not wearing your retainer as often as you should be.