You have made it to the end of your orthodontic treatment! But what now? Here our Okotoks orthodontists talk about what you can expect from life after braces and some things to be mindful of.
What can I expect after my braces are removed?
You’ve come to the end of your orthodontic treatment, and you’re ecstatic at the thought of getting your braces off– it's a big moment!
Just like when you first had your braces put on, you will have to adjust to life without braces.
Here’s what you can expect - and some signs to watch for that you may want to discuss with your orthodontist.
Easier Brushing & Flossing
Now that you don’t have obstacles in the form of wires and brackets to contend with, brushing and flossing your teeth will be less time-consuming, and you won’t need to use special brushes or flossing aids.
However, it's important to remain diligent about brushing and flossing thoroughly to keep your newly straightened teeth healthy.
Eating Will Feel Strange
Now that your braces have been removed, you can eat the foods you love again. Hello, corn on the cob, popcorn, crunchy vegetables, gum and almost anything else your heart desires!
You may notice eating feels strange at first, both because you’ve avoided certain foods for the past 18 to 24 months and because your braces aren’t there anymore, and your mouth will feel different. Give yourself time to get used to it.
When your brackets are first taken off your teeth, one of the first things you may notice is that there will be calluses on the insides of your lips where brackets rubbed against sensitive skin.
These develop pretty quickly after your braces go on, but you can usually not feel them until your braces are removed. But don’t worry - they should disappear eventually.
It’s normal for your teeth to be darker in places where brackets were not attached. You might want to consider teeth whitening to even out the colour of your teeth.
A Straight Smile & Even Teeth
The entire reason you wore braces was to achieve a straighter smile and aligned teeth, and you should be able to see changes in your smile as a result of wearing braces. Your orthodontist may have taken some “before and after” photos of your teeth so you can see how far you’ve come.
All that time diligently caring for your oral hygiene, as well as attending appointments for adjustments, will now be paying off. Congratulations on all the hard work!
Though your braces are off, your treatment will likely not be fully complete. Patients typically come for a few follow-up appointments to ensure their retainer fits properly and that their teeth remain properly aligned.
Wearing a Retainer or Other Appliances
Your retainer will keep your teeth in their new positions. You’ll need to wear the retainer full-time for a while, then part-time (typically only at night) in the months and years to come. Some patients also need spacers or other appliances.
If there are other issues you want to address in addition to your follow-up treatment, we would be happy to discuss those as well and address any concerns, or develop a treatment plan.