You're finally brace-free! Congratulations – but there are a few points to consider following your treatment. What to expect from life after braces – and a few things to avoid.
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
With no wires or brackets to contend with, brushing and flossing your teeth will be quicker and easier, 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 last 18 to 24 months and because your braces are removed and your mouth feels different. Allow yourself 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 achieve a straighter smile and properly aligned teeth, and you should notice changes in your smile as a result of wearing braces. Your orthodontist may have taken "before and after" photographs of your teeth to demonstrate your progress.
All that time diligently caring for your oral hygiene, as well as attending appointments for adjustments, should now be paying off. Congratulations on all the hard work!
While your braces have been removed, your treatment is likely not complete. Typically, patients return for a few follow-up appointments to ensure their retainer fits properly and their teeth remain properly aligned.
Wearing a Retainer or Other Appliances
Your retainer will maintain the new positions of your teeth. For the first few months and years, you'll likely need to wear the retainer full-time, then part-time (typically only at night). Additionally, some patients require spacers or other appliances.