You have waited months, maybe even years, for Dr. Clauss to remove the braces or attachments from your mouth. You’re so eager and nervous that you almost forget to say thank you when he hands you the mirror to take a look at your teeth for yourself. And oh! — Your smile looks even better than you imagined it would!
At Clauss Orthodontics, we want you to experience that excitement every time you see your smile for years to come. Let’s go over some important after-braces-care that will keep your teeth looking “good as new” for years to come.
Maintain A Good Oral Hygiene Routine!
When you’re in active treatment, we stress the importance of good oral hygiene so that your teeth look beautiful when the brackets come off. It’s essential to keep these good habits you’ve built so that your smile stays just as lovely after treatment.
- Remember to brush and floss twice a day!
- Use quality toothpaste and mouthwash. You can ask your orthodontist or dentist for recommendations.
- Don’t overbrush or brush too hard. An automatic toothbrush with a timer and pressure sensor can help improve your toothbrushing technique.
- Rinse your mouth with water after meals to avoid residue from sticking to or staining the teeth.
- Adjust your diet if necessary to consume less acidic or sugary foods and drinks.
- If you used a water flosser (“Waterpik”) during treatment, don’t throw it out! If you didn’t, consider getting one. These devices use water to clean hard-to-reach places and remove stubborn food particles and bacteria. For most patients, water flossers should be used in addition to thread flossing, not be a replacement.
- Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months. If you use a water flosser, replace the cleaning tip every six months.
Maintaining the health of your teeth protects you from tooth decay, bad breath, gum disease or other infections, and tooth loss! If you are unsure about any part of your oral hygiene routine, please reach out to Dr. Clauss or your dentist for personalized guidance.
Wear Your Retainer!
During active treatment, the pressure braces put on your teeth softens the ligaments and cause bone remodeling to fill in the newly emptied space. Once your teeth are in their final positions and we remove the braces, the bones and ligaments need a little more time to settle in so that the teeth are more likely to stay in their new spots. That’s where your retainer comes in.
Your retainer is made especially for you, and its sole purpose is to keep your teeth in place. At first, you will need to wear your retainer every night as prescribed by Dr. Clauss. Over time, the frequency at which you need to wear the retainer will decrease, but it is unlikely that you will ever not need it. Your teeth could shift at any time — even years after the removal of your braces! Neglecting to wear your retainer could result in the need for more future treatment.
It can be hard to feel motivated or remember to wear a removable retainer when you’re full of excitement about getting your braces removed. Still, once you establish a routine, it will be second nature.
Don’t Forget To Clean Your Retainer!
You’re going to be wearing your retainer a lot. For it to safely and effectively do its job, you’ll want to be clean and in good condition! The type of retainer you have determines the best way to clean it, but it generally only takes a few minutes! Follow the instructions given to you by Dr. Clauss to keep your retainer in top-notch condition.
When you are not wearing your retainer, you should keep it in its protective case! Retainers are small and thin — sometimes even transparent! They are frequently forgotten about, lost, and chewed up by curious pets. Placing them in the case is an easy way to keep up with the retainers while safeguarding them from germs and physical damage.
Remember our saying at Clauss Orthodontics: “In your face or in the case!”
Go to Check-ups and Cleanings!
Upon the completion of active treatment, you might still need to come to Clauss Orthodontics for check-ups with your retainer to monitor your smile progress. If you lose or damage your retainer, you might need to come in to get another made or take precautions to keep the teeth from regressing.
Just like during your orthodontic treatment, it’s also necessary to keep up with regular cleanings and other dental appointments to keep your teeth happy and healthy! Attending your dental check-ups gives your dentist a chance to clean your teeth and gums of bacteria and plaque. They also look for and treat any potential issues or infections before they cause serious harm to your smile.
Soon after your braces are removed, you are encouraged to schedule an initial cleaning with your trusted dentist. A good cleaning can remove any gunk, bacteria, or plaque accumulated in hard-to-reach places during treatment.
Clauss Orthodontics Is Always Here For You!
Our dedicated and passionate team is here for you every step of the way. Clauss Orthodontics begins your care from the moment you place your first phone call and will be there for you during retention and beyond.
We know getting to this stage wasn’t easy. It required a lot of work, sacrifices, and patience, but it was well worth it!
If you have any questions or need a new retainer, no matter how long it has been, please don’t hesitate to contact us to make an appointment! We are always excited to see and help you!