How to Care for Your Teeth After Braces

Since our inception, the Sycamore Orthodontics team has been educating patients. It’s not enough that you come in for treatment. Rather, Dr. B and Dr. Sarah want patients to understand their treatments. Sycamore citizens deserve to know how to care for their teeth after braces. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make. 

Keep Coming To See Us

Even after you get your braces off, we still need to see you for a while. Dr. B and Dr. Sarah prescribe the timing of each retainer check, but it is our responsibility to follow up with you during the retention phase to monitor the maintenance of your new smile. We do this for the first year after treatment, and we’ll examine your new smile to ensure it’s adjusting properly. 

Clean Teeth Are Happy Teeth

A beautiful smile starts with clean teeth. Proper brushing and flossing keep your teeth and supporting gum tissue healthy and vibrant. Consider implementing the following practices into your routine. 

  • Brush immediately after each meal.  
  • Invest in a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • Use only fluoride toothpaste. 
  • Brush gently. There’s no need to scour your gums. 
  • Hold your brush at approximately a 45-degree angle. 
  • Make a point to touch your bristles to every surface of every tooth.
  • Can’t brush right this second? Use water and swish. 
  • The floss is the boss! Employ it every night before going to sleep. 
  • Trouble accessing certain parts of your mouth or teeth? Look into tools like Waterpiks and floss threaders. 
  • Get a new toothbrush every quarter (roughly every 3 – 4 months). 
  • When selecting mouthwash, look for words like “antimicrobial.” 

Guard Your Grill – Wear Your Retainer

When designing your retainer, our Sycamore Orthodontics team will begin with the structure of your teeth. Just like your braces, we will engineer your retainer for you specifically. We do not practice any one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, your retainer will fit your teeth and no one else’s. This will ensure that it performs precisely as intended because you don’t want someone else’s smile; you want your smile. 

Some retainers are removable, and others are fixed in place and bonded to some teeth (more on that below). For the removable retainers, you will need to wear them every night while you sleep. If you have a fixed retainer, adhere to the doctors’ guidelines. You should expect the best results using the retainers as instructed. 

How to Care for Your Teeth After Braces

Types of Retainers

Clear Retainers

Manufactured from transparent plastic, clear retainers remain a favorite among patients and orthodontists. In part, they resemble the trays used with Invisalign clear aligners. When Dr. B or Dr. Sarah issues you a clear retainer, it is customized to fit your mouth. With proper oversight, a clear retainer can last a very long time. 

To maintain the integrity of your clear retainer, brush and floss it before putting it on. When the time comes to remove it, clean it straight away. Leaving saliva in it to dry gives bacteria free rein. 

Vivera Retainers

Manufactured by Invisalign, these retainers have robust advantages over their competition. They are 30% stronger and twice as durable as other transparent retainer materials. For Sycamore Orthodontics patients, that means fewer orders, which means saving money. 

Fixed Retainers 

Fixed retainers are assembled from a narrow wire. The wire stretches across the inside of the bottom front teeth. Using dental composite, it is “glued” in place. For this reason, fixed retainers are particularly adept at keeping teeth straight after braces, and they are the best way to ensure long-term success.

Moreover, they’re impossible to forget because they are always with you. You still need to brush your teeth as usual, but you’ll also need to make some adjustments to navigate your brush around your retainer wire. Verify that your brush touches each part of every tooth, paying particular attention to the area behind and underneath your retainer. Get in there like it’s your job!

Hawley Retainers 

Hawley retainers are what you may think of as the “old-school” or conventional retainer. They have a wire that wraps around the teeth, and this wire is attached to an acrylic plate that lies on the inside of the teeth and palate. Should Dr. B or Dr. Sarah fit you with a Hawley retainer, clean it daily. We suggest using a soft-bristled toothbrush and hand soap, for a softer cleaner. Doing so will get rid of bacteria and plaque. 

You can leave your retainer in a denture cleaner if that doesn’t quite cut it. Keep this retainer out of hot environments. Don’t use hot or boiling water to clean it. Extreme heat will distort and warp the shape of the retainer, so it will no longer fit you correctly.

Memotain Retainers

Customized from nickel and titanium, these retainers fit lingually. That is the “tongue” side of the lower teeth. These retainers use CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and manufacturing) to help the retainer have a more precise fit. In addition, they are less likely to corrode and minimize tooth movement. 

How to Care for Your Teeth After Braces

Begin Treatment At Sycamore Orthodontics

Sycamore Orthodontics has all the information you need about retainers. Click here to begin your consultation.