3 Tips for Maintaining an Even Smile After Braces

Posted on: 26 July 2018

Dental braces can help to move crooked or twisted teeth into a more even alignment. However, after your dentist removes the braces, your teeth can begin to move back into an uneven alignment, undoing all the good work of your orthodontic treatment. Here are three things you can do to maintain the straightening effects of your braces after they are removed.

1. Wear Your Retainer

Sometimes, orthodontists will provide you with a retainer to wear after your wire and bracket braces are removed. Unlike braces, retainers are removable, and you should always take your retainer out to eat so that it doesn't get covered in traces of food. You will also need to take your retainer out to clean your teeth. However, as soon as you finish eating or brushing, you should rinse your mouth and then put your retainer back into place.

Not wearing your retainer can increase the risk of your teeth slipping back into their old positions, undoing all the work that your braces have done. Your dentist might instruct you to wear a retainer for a year or more to increase the chance of your orthodontic treatment succeeding. Follow this advice to protect your new, straight smile.

2. Prevent Gum Disease

Diseased gums do not hold teeth in position as firmly as healthy gum tissue. If you develop gum disease after finishing your orthodontic treatment, it could allow your teeth to lose their new straight alignment. In severe cases, gum disease can cause teeth to become loose or even fall out.

To prevent gum disease, it is important to keep your teeth and gums as clean as possible. Brushing alone is not enough, as traces of plaque can remain trapped between the teeth and around the gum line. To remove this hard-to-reach plaque, use string floss or a water flosser every day to clean between your teeth and around the gums.

3. Have Regular Dental Checkups

Regular dental checkups reduce your risk of gum disease and can improve your overall oral health. They also provide a chance for your dentist to notice early signs of teeth beginning to shift out of alignment, which means they can recommend treatment to gently guide them back into place. This treatment might involve wearing a retainer or having another set of braces fitted. The sooner your dentist notices that your teeth are slipping out of alignment, the easier the misalignment is likely going to be to treat.