You’re probably excited to show off your smile now that you’re finished with your adult braces treatment. However, your treatment isn’t over yet, as you still need to put in a little effort to maintain the results. Braces do most of the hard work of aligning your teeth and bite, but the work can be undone if your teeth shift back to their original position. Here are some tips for how to keep your teeth straight after completing your treatment.
Use a Retainer
After your orthodontist removes your adult braces, they’ll give you a retainer to use. This orthodontic device will fit over your teeth and help them stay in place for a while. Expect to wear it on a full-time basis for at least a year. Once your teeth have settled more, you’ll only need to use it at night about two or three times a week. The amount of time you’ll need to wear your retainer depends on how well your teeth have stayed in place in your mouth, and it’s something that only your orthodontist can advise.
Watch What You Chew
Now that braces are off your teeth, you may look forward to eating whatever you want again. However, you should practice discretion as your teeth are still vulnerable to shift if there’s too much force against them. You should also avoid chewing on objects like pens, biting your nails, or pushing your tongue against your teeth. If you grind your teeth at night, your orthodontist can give you a night guard to wear to protect them once you no longer need to wear your retainer every night.
Practice Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is still important after braces. You should continue to brush and floss regularly to reduce tartar and plaque. Keeping up with good hygiene keeps your teeth and gums stable and healthy, which supports your teeth staying in place.
Keep Your Appointments
When undergoing adult braces treatment, it’s recommended that you see your orthodontist about every six to 10 weeks, according to AAO. Make sure you keep up with whatever post-treatment appointments are necessary. Those follow-up appointments allow your orthodontist to monitor the progress of your teeth to ensure they haven’t shifted. If any issues occur, they may need to make adjustments to your customized retainer.
Now you understand the follow-up care involved with adult braces treatment. With this info in mind, you can ensure you don’t undo the hard work you’ve undergone for the past months or couple of years. For more information about adult orthodontics, contact our office at Four Corners Orthodontics & Dental today.