How To Care For Teeth Post-Braces

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Whether you spent six months or three years wearing braces or invisible aligners, there’s still plenty of upkeep once you get them off. And, like it or not, that maintenance is permanent if you want to keep your smile looking gorgeous. So here are tips to on how to care for your teeth once you’re done with braces…so you can smile on for years to come.

Give your gums some TLC
If you had wire braces, there’s a chance that your gums are in need of a little bit of care since “many patients have difficulty keeping their gums as healthy as they should be due to the difficulty of flossing with wires in their mouths,” says Palm Desert, CA, cosmetic dentist, Rene Dell’Acqua, DDS. “If your gums are slightly puffy, rinse with hot salt water three times a day until they are firm again.”

Schedule a dentist appointment
The same reasoning applies here-there’s a good chance your teeth were slightly neglected while you wore braces or aligners, so once you’re finished wearing them, make sure to schedule a check up and cleaning with your dentist, along with dental x-rays (especially if you wore metal braces) to check for tooth decay.

Whiten your teeth
After your braces come off, give them a brilliant sparkle by whitening them. Dr. Dell’Acqua recommends using the Tanda Pearl Ionic Teeth Whitening System ($195) because it can be used on teens and for those who want to whiten without pain or sensitivity.

Never stop wearing retainers
This might go without saying, but there are plenty of people who choose not to wear their retainers (or simply stop wearing them after awhile). But if they aren’t worn regularly, your teeth will move back to their original position pretreatment. “It’s only within the past few years that we’ve realized you should wear your retainers every night for the rest of your life if you want your teeth to stay put,” says Tinley Park, IL, cosmetic dentist, Zack Zaibak, DDS.

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