I Got My Braces Off—Now What?


So, you’ve gotten your braces off! After you’ve finished celebrating your successful orthodontic treatment, you may wonder what your next steps should be. After all, you don’t want your time with braces to go to waste! Although Dr. Hutta and Dr. Price already gave you some helpful tips, we’ve compiled a few important ones to remember.

Get a professional dental cleaning and exam

It can be challenging to brush and floss well while you’ve got braces. And you may know that the longer you’ve had them, the more likely it is that plaque and stains have built up on your teeth. Regular dental visits during treatment are essential. But now that there are no barriers in the way, it’s even easier for the dentist to inspect your teeth and gums thoroughly. Getting a professional dental cleaning after braces removal (and continuing every six months) will help address any issues and ensure that you love the smile you’ve earned!

Be gentle with your teeth and gums 

After removing your braces, your teeth and gums may feel a bit sensitive. Be patient with your new smile, as it takes time for your teeth to adjust to life without braces. It may be helpful to continue eating and drinking braces-friendly foods and drinks that will be gentle on your newly exposed teeth. As time goes on and your oral sensitivity decreases, you can slowly incorporate the foods you’ve missed into your diet.

Wear your retainer as instructed

Without braces to keep your teeth in place, they’ll naturally begin to move over time. Your teeth are more susceptible to shifting in the first few months after you’ve gotten your braces off. While this is normal, you want to keep your beautiful smile in place for life!

The best way to do so is to wear your retainer as directed by Dr. Hutta or Dr. Price. Your retainer will keep your teeth in their new, aligned position—as long as you wear it regularly. Although every retention plan is different, you’ll likely need to wear removable retainers daily for at least a few months and nightly afterward. Be sure to take good care of your retainer as well! Cleaning it often will help it stay clean and prevent cavities. If you skip wearing a retainer and you find that your retainer doesn’t fit or that your teeth have shifted, visit our office. We can talk you through options like our Invisalign® Smile Touch-Up.

Keep up with your dental hygiene at home!

Now that your braces are off, brushing, flossing, and generally taking care of your teeth will feel much easier. Healthy habits will help preserve your shiny new smile, so establish an oral health routine and stick to it.

Brush your teeth at least twice daily and replace your toothbrush every few months (or when the bristles appear frayed). Brushing will keep your teeth clean and healthy, especially when coupled with regular flossing. Do this daily to remove plaque and particles that your toothbrush can’t. You’ll likely find oral hygiene is a breeze now that your braces are gone!

Maintain your new smile

Regular dentist and orthodontist appointments are always necessary, especially after braces. Consulting a professional is the best way to identify and treat oral health issues, like cavities or shifting teeth. If you’ve recently gotten your braces off, consider scheduling an appointment with your dental care provider to ensure that your smile is in the best shape!