Life After Braces: What To Expect  

Do you know what to expect after you get your braces off or complete your last day of teeth straightening with your clear aligners? Once you complete your teeth straightening treatment, it’s important to maintain your straight teeth by wearing a retainer. Our orthodontist Dr. Natalia Valderrama at Valderrama Orthodontics can help you choose the right retainer for your lifestyle and your ideal wear schedule.

What to Expect

The day you end your clear braces, clear aligners, or lingual braces treatment your mouth will feel a bit different. It may even take a day or two to adjust your speech. It also means you will no longer have to deal with dietary restrictions due or paying attention to when you eat and how long you wear your clear aligners for. However, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You will still need something to retain your teeth a few hours a day so they don’t go back to their old position. 

1. You’ll Need a Retainer

Once you get your braces off or stop wearing your clear aligners, like Invisalign or Suresmile, you’ll have to be fitted for a retainer. Retainers help hold your teeth in place while your jawbone and gums solidify around your new teeth positions. If you don’t wear a retainer, your teeth will start to shift back to their original locations, leading to the need for more teeth straightening procedures in the future.

Fixed Retainers

There are two types of retainers. The first type of retainer is a fixed retainer. These retainers are bonded to your teeth and worn 24 hours a day forever and they are designed to last for years. The reason you may want to consider a fixed retainer is that when you first get your braces off or stop wearing your clear aligning trays, you’ll need to wear a retainer almost 24 hours a day to ensure your teeth do not shift for the first 30 days.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers can be clear or made from durable colored plastic or composite. These retainers are not fixed to your teeth, and you can remove them for eating and drinking. If you had Invisalign or Suresmile, your retainer wear schedule will be prescribed by Dr. Valderrama depending on your specific needs.

2. You’ll Have to Wear Your Retainer For a Certain Amount of Time Each Day

Directly after your teeth straightening treatments end, you’ll need to wear your retainer for several hours each day. In the beginning, you’ll have to wear your retainer at night and during the day in order to prevent your teeth from immediately starting to shift. The reason for this is because your jaw and the soft tissues that support your teeth won’t be fully adjusted to the new positions of your teeth. As you get increasingly farther from the end of your teeth straightening treatments, you’ll be able to wear your retainer for less time each day. You’ll still need to maintain a retainer wear schedule for the rest of your life in order to maintain your smile.

3. You May Want Additional Treatments, Like Teeth Whitening and Enamel Strengthening

Once you stop wearing your adult braces or Invisalign, you may want to undergo additional treatments, like enamel strengthening and teeth whitening. A good fluoride rinse can help restore enamel after your braces so that you avoid cavities and tooth decay. If your teeth are discolored or slightly yellow, you may want to consider teeth whitening in order to further improve your appearance.

Braces and Beyond

Our orthodontist, Dr. Valderrama, offers many different types of affordable braces that are both visible and invisible. These include traditional metal braces, clear brackets, lingual braces, and now champagne braces!!! and clear aligner trays, including Suresmile and Invisalign for adults. If your teeth are crooked, twisted or improperly gapped, our orthodontist, Dr. V. can help determine which type of braces are right for you. She will also suggest the best type of treatment depending on your lifestyle and current oral health.

To schedule an appointment to see if braces or invisible braces would be right for you, call our office at 321-425-5050 or contact us online here.