Maintaining Your Smile: How to Keep Your Teeth Straight After Braces

Maintaining Your Smile: How to Keep Your Teeth Straight After Braces
Posted on 08/19/2020

Choonara Orthodontics: Your Expert Source for Johannesburg Braces

Dr. Sahide Choonara and the entire team at Choonara Orthodontics are committed to offering high quality orthodontic care for your whole family. As your expert Johannesburg orthodontist, our goal is to provide our patients with friendly and calm orthodontic care, and to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.

Our office creates a custom orthodontic treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. We know that for many patients, braces are a common solution to help you achieve the confident smile you deserve! Whether you’re looking for Invisalign or more traditional options, we feature a comprehensive set of treatment selections to fit your every need when looking for Johannesburg braces.

What Now? Tips for Maintaining Straight Teeth After Braces

Choonara Orthodontics wants to educate our patients on what to do after you have completed your orthodontic treatment and how to maintain your investment in a beautiful smile. That’s why we are here to provide you with information about how to keep your teeth straight after braces!

Getting your braces off can be one of the most enjoyable steps towards achieving your straight teeth and beautiful smile. However, long-term maintenance is an important next step in keeping your new smile intact. Retainers are essential to preserving straight teeth and not undoing your significant orthodontic investment.

Numerous studies indicate that wearing a retainer—or not—significantly impacts the long-term effects of teeth straightening from braces. According to the British Orthodontic Society, over 70 percent of individuals that wore a retainer for only 1-2 years post-braces experienced teeth straightening reversal (i.e. pre-braces condition of the teeth), thus requiring dental work again within 10 years. Don’t worry—these tips will help you keep your smile straight!

Wear Your Retainer

Always remember to wear your retainer per your orthodontist’s instructions. There are two main types of retainers—removable and fixed. Removable retainers are probably most familiar to you, and can be taken out and put in when you like. They are made of either metal wire (The Hawley Retainer) or clear wire (Clear Retainer) and a plastic retainer molded to fit your mouth, designed to fit snugly and hold your teeth in position. Fixed retainers are bonded in place by your orthodontist and designed to stay there permanently, or at least until your orthodontist says they can be removed.

Your orthodontist will likely advise you to wear your retainer 24 hours a day/7 days a week for the first few months after your braces are removed, up to a year after. Later on, we may tell you to wear your retainer for just a few nights each week or almost every night for the rest of your life, depending on your individual needs and to ensure your teeth do not shift out of their corrected position.

Keep Your Retainer Clean

Remember to brush your teeth each time before you put your retainer on, and stick to your regular twice-a-day brushing and flossing schedule. Remember to care for your retainer with regular attention just like you would your teeth. Depending on the type of retainer you have, you should gently brush the inside of your retainer thoroughly after each meal with cool water and non-abrasive toothpaste.

Deeper cleanings are also important for extending the life of your retainer. Denture cleaners and other specialty retainer solutions are easy and effective—just put one of the effervescent tablets in a glass of water and soak it for the amount of time listed on the directions.

Keep Your Retainer Safe

Remember to keep your retainer in a cool, dry place—you should preferably store your retainer in its case when you’re not wearing it. Avoid excessive wear or playing with your retainer as this can cause damage, meaning you might have to get a replacement retainer sooner than you would normally.

Keep Up with Regular Dental Visits

Finally, remember to visit your dentist about once every six months. By staying up-to-date with any underlying oral problems, like gum disease or wisdom teeth eruption, you can help avoid any issues that might cause your teeth to shift and move out of place.

Always bring your retainer with you when visiting your dentist or orthodontist so we can make sure it’s fitting correctly and keeping your teeth in place. You will probably have to replace your retainer every so often. Most retainers will last for 10 years, but your orthodontist will give you a schedule of when you should invest in a new one.

We know that wearing a retainer isn’t always fun, but remember that wearing your retainer is necessary to help keep your smile looking straight for the rest of your life!

Contact Your Johannesburg Orthodontist Today!

If you have any questions about braces, retainers, or any other orthodontic treatment, please contact your Johannesburg orthodontist today! You can contact the Choonara Orthodontics office directly by phone at (011) 678-8090 or via email, and you can also easily request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you achieve your best smile!