Once you’ve finished your orthodontics treatment, it’s understandable that you’ll want to show off your new, straighter smile now it’s free from an aligner or fixed braces. But, to make sure you always have the same beautiful smile, it is important to take steps to keep it looking fantastic.

Follow your retention plan

As you come to the end of your teeth straightening treatment, your dentist will give you a retention plan to follow. This involves wearing a retainer to help your teeth hold their position as the bone and soft tissues around them reorganise and reset to stabilise your bite.

Depending on your age and the nature of your treatment, as well as the brace or aligner system used to straighten your teeth, you may need to wear a retainer full-time for anywhere between a week to six months, and then every night for a few years. If you have had adult orthodontics, we may recommend that you wear your retainer indefinitely at nights to help keep your teeth in perfect alignment.

Retainers can be clear, removable aligners, much like Invisalign aligners, or fixed wire and bracket aligners attached to the back of your teeth so that they’re invisible to everyone else.

If you do have fixed aligners, they are normally left in place for up to five years. If you have removable aligners, you should take them out to eat, play sport and clean your teeth – just remember to store them in a box so they don’t get lost!

In most cases where teeth move after orthodontics, it is because the patient hasn’t followed the recommended retention plan.

Pay special attention to your oral hygiene

If you’ve been through the process of having orthodontics, we’re sure you’ve heard more than once how important it is to follow a good oral health routine. Even with removable aligners, it’s essential to clean your teeth after meals to stop food getting stuck between the aligner and your teeth.

Oral hygiene continues to be important after your orthodontic treatment is complete. If you’ve had fixed braces, you may experience some areas of decalcification on your teeth – this will appear as bright white spots. We will recommend that you see our skilled hygienist for treatment and advice to correct this issue, which can otherwise mar the appearance of your straight smile.

If you do need to wear a removable retainer for some time after your treatment, do remember to brush your teeth after eating to keep the retainer clean and to protect your teeth from decay.

Attend regular check-ups

You should continue to attend regular dental check-ups after your orthodontic treatment is over. This way, if any teeth do begin to drift, we can take action sooner rather than later.

If you’re interested in orthodontics in Manchester or you would like some advice about life after orthodontics, give us a call at Heaton Mersey Orthodontic Centre on 0161 825 0214.