While patients may only wear braces for one to three years (give or take), the process of keeping a beautiful smile is a life-long commitment. Orthodontic care such as traditional wire braces or Invisalign orthodontics will shift teeth into a uniform position, but the act of keeping them that way requires care and dedication to healthy habits. These are the main tips for keeping your smile straight and beautiful as the years roll on:
1. Your Retainer is Your Friend
Teeth can start shifting back into place as early as 24 hours after you get your braces removed. Yes, you read that correctly. Depending on jaw and mouth composition, teeth will naturally shift. That’s why retainers are so important for a life-long healthy smile.
2. Oral Hygiene
A common misconception about braces and clear aligners is that they are a one-time fix. Just as not brushing and flossing can lead to shifting of the teeth the first time around, repeating those habits after having your braces removed can eventually put you right back at square one.
3. Be Vigilant and Make Appointments
As the days roll by and eventually turn to the passing of years, it’s all too easy to not pay attention to the alignment of your teeth. We understand. Life gets busy, and it is simple to push teeth alignment to the wayside as a vanity problem when pressing concerns pop up daily. The thing is that, the shifting of teeth is usually a slow and insidious process, and it’s just as important to maintain routine check-ups with a dentist as it is a primary care physician. We will do everything in our power to help you, but you are the primary watchman. No one will notice cavities or shifting of teeth faster than you.