You're finally brace-free! Congratulations, but there are a few things you should be aware of after treatment. Here's what you can expect from life after braces – and a few things to avoid.
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
Brushing and flossing your teeth will take less time now that you don't have wires and brackets to contend with, 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!
Eating may feel strange at first, both because you've avoided certain foods for the past 18 to 24 months and because your braces are no longer in place, and your mouth will feel different. Allow yourself some time to adjust.
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 had 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
You wore braces to achieve a straighter smile and aligned teeth, and you should notice changes in your smile as a result of wearing braces. Your orthodontist may have taken "before and after" photos of your teeth to show you how far you've progressed.
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!
Even if your braces are removed, your treatment is unlikely to be completed. Patients typically return for a few follow-up appointments to ensure that their retainer is properly fitting and that their teeth are properly aligned.
Wearing a Retainer or Other Appliances
Your retainer will help to keep your teeth in their new position. You'll need to wear the retainer full-time for a while, then part-time (usually only at night) for the next few months and years. Some patients may also require spacers or other devices.
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.