For years, Freelove Orthodontics has been fitting smiles in Kent with braces. We love what we do. You never know what a new smile might mean to somebody. But what happens after a patient has their braces taken off? If you’ve ever wondered how to care for your teeth after braces, Freelove Orthodontics can guide you through.

Maintain Consistent Appointments

Even after you get your braces off, we still need to see you. Dr. Freelove will iron out the specifics of when and how often. But you’ll need to make appointments and follow up with us regularly. We’ll examine your new smile to ensure it’s adjusting properly and review any post-braces treatment protocols. 

Develop Healthy Oral Habits

A beautiful smile starts with clean teeth. Proper brushing and flossing keep your teeth and supporting gum tissue healthy and vibrant. Consider implementing the following practices into your routine. 

  • Brush immediately after each meal.  
  • Invest in a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • Use only fluoride toothpaste. 
  • Brush gently. There’s no need to scour your gums. 
  • Hold your brush at approximately a 45-degree angle. 
  • Make a point to touch your bristles to every surface of every tooth.
  • Can’t brush right this second? Use water and swish. 
  • The floss is the boss! Employ it every night before going to sleep. 
  • Trouble accessing certain parts of your mouth or teeth? Look into tools like Waterpiks and threaders. 
  • Get a new toothbrush every quarter (roughly every 3 – 4 months). 
  • When selecting mouthwash, look for words like “antimicrobial.” 

Protect Your Teeth With A Retainer

When designing your retainer, our Freelove Orthodontics team will begin with the structure of your teeth. Just like your braces, we will engineer your retainer for you specifically. We do not practice any one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, your retainer will fit your teeth and no one else’s. This will ensure that it performs precisely as intended because you don’t want someone else’s smile. No, you want your smile. 

Some retainers are removable, and others are not (more on that below). If your retainer is removable, then you will likely need to wear it every night while you sleep. If Dr. Freelove recommended a non-removable retainer, then adhere to his guidelines. You should expect the best results using the retainer as instructed for the specified time. 

Retainer Options

Fixed Retainers 

Fixed retainers are assembled from a narrow wire. The write stretches across the inside of the bottom or top front teeth. Using glue, it adheres to that exact spot. For this reason, fixed retainers are particularly adept at keeping teeth straight after braces.

Moreover, they’re impossible to forget because they are always with you. It would be best if you still brush your teeth as usual. However, you’ll need to make some adjustments to navigate your brush around your retainer. Verify that your brush touches each part of every tooth. Make sure to pay particular attention to the area behind your retainer. Get in there like it’s your job. 

Work with Dr. Freelove regarding how best to floss with a fixed retainer. It is easier to use tools like Waterpiks or floss threaders. It’s essential to get into even the smallest of spaces. Chew softer foods, but eschew hard, crunchy, or sticky foods. Keep regular appointments with our team. 

Hawley Retainers 

Hawley retainers work via a wire wrapped around the teeth. This wire is attached to an acrylic arch that lies beneath the roof of your mouth. Should Dr. Freelove fit you with a Hawley retainer, clean it daily. We suggest using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. Doing so will get rid of bacteria and plaque. 

You can leave your retainer in denture cleaner if that doesn’t quite cut it. Keep this retainer out of hot environments. Don’t use hot or boiling water to clean it. Extreme heat will distort and warp the shape of the retainer, so it will no longer fit you correctly.

Clear Retainers

Manufactured from transparent plastic, clear retainers remain a favorite among patients and orthodontists. In part, they resemble the trays used with Invisalign clear aligners. When Dr. Freelove makes you a retainer, it is customized to fit your mouth. With proper oversight, a clear retainer can last very long. 

To maintain the integrity of your clear retainer, brush and floss it before putting it on. When the time comes to remove it, clean it straight away. Leaving saliva in it to dry gives bacteria free rein. Like the Hawley model, you might opt for a soft-bristled brush for cleaning. Should you desire a more thorough cleansing, use dish soap with lukewarm water. For grooved aligners, a cotton swab will come in handy. If need be, you can place your clear retainer in denture solution such as Polident. 

How to Care for Your Teeth After BracesVisit Freelove Orthodontics Today

At Freelove Orthodontics, we’re proud to call Kent home. Click here to start your orthodontics journey with us.

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