Here at Brady Orthodontics, we’re proud to help your smile shine! Our expert team has helped patients of all ages achieve straighter teeth and improved oral health, but even the best results won’t last forever without a bit of help. That’s where you come in! From consistent oral hygiene to wearing your retainer, you play a key role in maintaining your smile after orthodontic treatment. Whether you’re a current patient or simply considering orthodontics, it’s important to understand what to expect when you complete treatment. Keep reading to learn more.
Maintain A Consistent Oral Hygiene Routine
The most important advice we can give for maintaining your new smile is simple: get into the habit of caring for your teeth! This will help prevent plaque build-up and keep your smile healthy.
If you brushed, flossed, and rinsed dependably throughout your treatment, this will be easy for you—just keep doing what you’ve been doing! If you slacked on brushing and flossing towards the end of your treatment, there’s no better time than the present to get back into a regular dental hygiene routine. We recommend brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing every night before bed to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape.
In addition to brushing and flossing every day, you should try to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking anything other than plain water. This is especially useful if you consume a fair amount of sugar in your food and drinks. Rinsing with water will cut down on the amount of sugar that adheres to the teeth and help prevent tooth decay. Rinsing after drinking dark beverages like coffee, tea, and wine can also prevent staining.
Don’t Forget to Wear Your Retainer
The most important step in maintaining your new smile is wearing your retainer. Your teeth will never forget their original place in your mouth—once the pressure that braces and aligners provide is gone, they’ll start shifting back toward those spaces. This is why it’s so important to wear your retainer exactly as directed by Dr. Brady!
If you don’t wear your retainer, it won’t be able to do its job, and your progress will be undone over time. This can happen faster than you’d think, so be sure to stick to the guidelines we give you after treatment.
Keep Your Retainer Clean
Keeping your retainer clean and in good condition is just as important as wearing it daily. Your retainer is in your mouth often. That means it’s constantly exposed to all the bacteria, plaque, and food debris hanging around there! Dr. Brady recommends cleaning your retainers whenever you brush your teeth using soap or denture cleaner (toothpaste can make them cloudy over time).
Of course, life happens, and there will be days you forget. This isn’t a big deal as long as it only happens occasionally, but you should be able to recognize when your retainer is overdue for a cleaning! These signs include a bad taste or smell, a cloudy appearance, or white spots.
Keep A Healthy Diet
So much of your health is connected to your diet in your mouth and body. Proper nutrients can boost your teeth’s overall health, but certain foods can either help or harm your teeth’ enamel surfaces. Fresh fruits and vegetables can help remove plaque build-up as you bite into them and chew, and they are more difficult for bacteria to break down since they don’t contain carbohydrates, fats, oils, and sugars. In contrast, consuming sugary foods feeds this bacteria that lead to gum disease, while acidic food and drinks can prematurely destroy your tooth’s protective enamel coating.
Keep Your Smile Shining with Brady Orthodontics
Our team at Brady Orthodontics wants to help you maintain your newly straightened smile for life. These tips for maintaining your smile after orthodontic treatment are a great place to start. If you have any additional questions, we’re always happy to help! Schedule a complimentary consultation in our Winnetka office to learn more about our orthodontic treatments and the different ways you can keep your smile healthy.