Dental Health Blog

After Care for When Your Braces Come Off

Finally! You have gotten your braces off but now what? It’s been so long since you have had bracket free teeth that you need to discover how to keep a good oral hygiene routine all over again. Here are some tips to keep those teeth of yours straight and healthy.


You will need to wear a passive retainer that is formed to fit with your newly straightened teeth. Why do you need a retainer if you had braces? This retainer keeps your teeth from getting crooked again by holding them in their new positions.

How long do you have to wear your retainer?

This depends on the structure of your mouth and your choice. Since your teeth constantly shift even after you have had braces, a retainer is best worn to remind your teeth where they should be. Usually, you will wear your retainer for more than 22 hours a day during year one of brace-free teeth then every night after that first year.

What is the point in wearing braces if your teeth will just shift again?

Braces make your teeth straighter and will likely not have a drastic shift where they revert to their original crooked structure. However, there is a chance they will move slightly when your braces are removed, this is why a retainer is necessary. A retainer can be used for the rest of your life if you desire to make sure your teeth are always straight, but it is crucial to wear your retainer for at least the first year.

Ease into Those Forbidden Foods

During the time you wore braces you had a list of forbidden foods. These foods were supposed to be avoided because they could cause your braces to break or particles to get stuck in spots you could not brush out. Now that you no longer have braces, you can enjoy the foods you avoided such as popcorn but you still need to watch for those kernels getting stuck in tricky spots in your mouth. You will need to ease into these foods since your teeth and gums might be a bit sensitive after the removal of your braces. You could find the crunch of popcorn to be a bit much at first for your newly uncovered teeth.

Schedule a Dental Appointment

You will want to book an appointment at your dentist for a cleaning and check-up not long after you have had your braces off. Why? Though you could have taken extra good care of your teeth while wearing braces, there are still spots that you would have been unable to clean where the brackets were placed. You could have tartar built up in these locations over time and need to get this removed. The brace glue could also have stuck to your teeth and needs to be cleared away.

A check-up at your dentist is always a good idea a short time after your braces come off to ensure everything looks as it should. Your dentist will want to make sure there is nothing wrong with parts of your teeth that were hiding under the braces.

There you have it, a new smile that you can keep straight and healthy with a few tips. It’s not a trick, braces and retainers really do work as long as you keep up your oral hygiene routine including visiting the dentist at least every 6 months.


Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grewal - a Registered Dentist on December 19, 2019

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