Getting your braces off is a huge deal! For months, even years, those pesky brackets and wires have intruded your mouth and caused countless hours of discomfort, as well as plenty of awkward smiles in photographs! But now that you’re finished with your braces and it’s time for their removal, you might be wondering what life will be like from here on out. Keep reading to learn about five things you can expect as you transition into life after braces.
Your Teeth Will Feel Different
One of the first things you’ll want to do once your braces are off is run your tongue along the smooth surfaces of your front teeth. It’s probably been a while since you’ve felt this unique sensation! Perhaps you’ve never felt anything quite like it, especially if your teeth were particularly crooked. Your mouth also might feel more sensitive than usual after your braces are removed—but this is usually because you aren’t yet used to how much more of your teeth and gums are now exposed. You will gradually adjust and learn to enjoy the extra sensation.
Lifted Dietary Restrictions
When your braces are removed, the accompanying dietary restrictions are also lifted; popcorn is back on the menu, if you’re careful (your teeth are still susceptible to fracturing)! Hard candies and chewing gum are other popular items that you’ve probably been craving, too. As long as you show caution and are mindful of what you eat, most foods are fair game once more.
Living With a Retainer
Your treatment isn’t necessarily over just because your braces have been removed; the retention phase that follows is equally important for ensuring that your teeth remain in their new position! This is accomplished by wearing a retainer, which is a special oral appliance that is worn frequently. This custom-made retainer will ensure that your teeth stay put, and gradually you’ll have to wear it less often.
Your orthodontist will want to follow-up with you after removing your braces, to ensure that your teeth aren’t trying to revert to their original position. This also gives you the chance to ask any questions you might have, or to bring attention to any problems that are present. It might seem a little redundant, but these appointments ensure that you don’t need further orthodontic treatment in the future!
Maintaining Oral Hygiene
It’s much easier to take care of your teeth without braces! Regular oral hygiene is essential for a healthy mouth, and now that your teeth have been corrected, it’s up to you to keep them looking good. It’s vital that you regularly visit your dentist for checkups and cleanings, too—now that your braces are off, your teeth have more exposed surface area for plaque to potentially form on!
Life after braces can be very exciting; in addition to these things, you can also expect a big improvement in your smile’s appearance! Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions, wear your retainer, and keep your mouth clean moving forward; your braces have done a lot for you; don’t jeopardize that progress!
About the Author
Dr. Greg Friedman and his team at MOD Squad Dental are proud to serve patients and families in the Scripps Ranch area of San Diego! Dr. Friedman completed his dental doctorate at the Washington University School of Dental Medicine and is involved with many professional organizations including the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Academy of Functional Orthodontists. If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Friedman, he can be reached through his website or by phone: (858) 547-0070.