You're no longer wearing braces! Congratulations! However, there are a few things you should know now that you've completed treatment. Here's what to expect from life after braces, as well as a few things to be aware of.
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 be less time-consuming now that you don't have to deal with wires and brackets, 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!
You may notice that eating feels strange at first, both because you've been avoiding certain foods for the past 18 to 24 months and because your braces are gone and your mouth feels 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 are 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 get a straighter smile and aligned teeth, and you should be able to notice changes in your smile as a result of wearing them. Your orthodontist may have taken "before and after" pictures 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 will most likely not be completed. Patients usually return for a few follow-up appointments to ensure that their retainer is fitting correctly and that their teeth are still aligned properly.
Wearing a Retainer or Other Appliances
Your retainer will help you maintain your new dental position. For a while, you'll have to wear the retainer full-time, then part-time (usually only at night) in the months and years ahead. Some patients may also require spacers or other aids.
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.