Hooray! Your braces have finally come off! Congratulations on that straight new smile – but there are some things you need to know post-treatment. Here is what you can expect from life after braces – and a few things you should watch out for.
What can I expect once my braces come off?
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'll need some time to adjust once they come off.
Here’s what you can expect once your braces are removed - and some signs to watch for that you may want to discuss with your dentist.
Brushing & Flossing Will Get Easier
Now that you don’t have obstacles in the form of wires and brackets to contend with, brushing and flossing your teeth will be less time-consuming, 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 Is Bound to 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!
You are likely to notice eating feels strange at first, both because you’ve avoided certain foods for the past 18 to 24 months and because your braces aren’t there anymore, and your mouth will feel different. Give yourself time to get used to it.
You May Have Calluses in Your Mouth
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 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.
Your Teeth May Be Somewhat Discoloured
It’s normal for your teeth to be darker in places where brackets were not attached. While this discolouration will become less noticeable over time, you might want to consider teeth whitening to even out the colour of your teeth.
A Straighter Smile & More Even Teeth
The reason that you got your braces in the first place was to achieve a straighter smile and aligned teeth, and now that your braces are off you should be able to see changes in your smile as a result of wearing braces. Your dentist may have taken some “before and after” photos of your teeth so you can see how far you’ve come.
All that time diligent oral hygiene care, as well as attending appointments for adjustments, will now be paying off. Congratulations on all the hard work!
Although your braces are off now, your treatment will likely need to continue for a while longer. Patients typically come for a few follow-up appointments to ensure that their retainer fits properly and that their teeth remain properly aligned.
Wearing a Retainer or Other Appliances
You'll need to wear a retainer for some time once your braces are off. Retainers help to keep your teeth in their newly corrected positions. You’ll need to wear the retainer full time for a while, then part time (typically only at night) in the months and years to come. Some patients also need spacers or other appliances.
If there are other issues you want to address in addition to your followup treatment, we would be happy to discuss those as well and address any concerns, or develop a treatment plan.