Orthodontic treatment helps many people to obtain straight and beautiful smiles. However, the results achieved by braces are not guaranteed to last forever. Teeth sometimes drift back into their crooked positions over the years. You can avoid this drifting by following these tips after your braces are removed.
1. Wear Your Retainer
Many orthodontists recommend that their patients wear retainers for a while after their wire braces are removed. The length of time during which you will need to wear this retainer depends on your orthodontic condition. You might need to wear the retainer all the time except when eating, or only at night.
Be sure to wear your retainer according to your orthodontist's instructions. If your child needs to wear a retainer, explain to them why it is important to wear it every day. Most kids don't want the months or years they spent wearing braces to go to waste, so they are willing to wear their retainers with a few reminders from Mum or Dad.
2. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Gum disease is a major cause of teeth becoming crooked years after orthodontic treatment has corrected their alignment. Healthy gum tissue holds teeth firmly in place, but diseased gums allow teeth to shift out of alignment and even come loose.
You can prevent gum disease by brushing your teeth every morning and evening. Pay attention while you brush to ensure you cover all the surfaces, including the backs of your teeth, which are common areas for plaque to build up. You also need to floss every day to remove plaque from the gaps between teeth. Removing this bacteria every day helps to keep your gums healthy so they can support your newly aligned teeth.
3. Have Regular Dental Checkups
Visiting a dentist regularly is a vital part of orthodontic aftercare. Your dentist can use both visual inspection and x-rays to spot the early signs of teeth starting to migrate out of their newly corrected positions. If your teeth start to shift, your dentist can give you a referral to an orthodontist, who will give you a custom retainer to keep your teeth in place.
Dental checkups also reduce the risk of gum disease. If you have regular checkups, your dentist can clean away any buildup of plaque or tartar before it can progress to gum disease. If you have any gum inflammation, the dentist will prescribe a mouth rinse to kill the bacteria that causes gum disease and restore your gums to full health. By preventing gum disease in this way, you can help to maintain the results that your orthodontic treatment achieved.
To learn more, contact your local orthodontics office today.