How To Maintain Your Teeth After Braces
Whether you endured the presence of metal in your mouth or had less intrusive invisible aligners, youre bound to become quite the happy camper once those braces come off for good. Of course, braces are a significant investment from a couple of angles. Money-wise, braces certainly arent cheap; and time-wise, braces certainly require an extended commitment from the patient to show up for scheduled appointments, or, in the case of Invisalign users, follow the straightening tray system accordingly. Whether it took a couple of months or a couple of years to get your teeth to align their way into a perfectly straight smile, you deserve to reap the benefits of great-looking teeth for a long, time
Unfortunately, not all patients get to become the picture of post-braces success stories. In fact, one of the biggest problems that people tend to face once the braces come off is the shifting of the teeth back towards their original crooked state. This situation is beyond disappointing for those who sacrificed time, money, and possibly a degree of temporary self-esteem in order to eventually wind up with straight teeth for life. And while those who experience shifting dont necessarily represent a majority, the possibility of a relapse is enough to deter some people from getting braces in the first place.
On the plus side, if you do decide to get braces, then the future of your teeth is not completely out of your control. Maintaining your teeth after the braces come off is often a simple matter of following the proper instructions. For metal braces, the best thing to do to help your teeth stay straight is to follow the directions of your dentist or orthodontist. This might include wearing a retainer, keeping scheduled appointments, and adhering to any other points of advice as specifically prescribed. For patients who have used the Invisalign method of teeth straightening, the good news is that the treatment comes with its own retention system in order to ensure that your teeth stay straight even after youre done with that last straightening aligner. Of course, it is up to you to wear your retention aligner as directed, but if you do, then youll significantly decrease the likelihood of your teeth reverting back to their less attractive crooked state.
So what about patients who previously had braces but whose teeth have already shifted back? Unfortunately, if its been years since those metal braces came off, then you might need to start the process all over again. The Invisalign system for people is recommended in this exact situation. On the other hand, former Invisalign patients who begin to notice shifting in their teeth do have the option of resuming treatment in the event of a relapse. People in such a condition can simply go back to using older Invisalign trays to pick up the straightening process where their teeth seem to be leaving off.
While no teeth-straightening system is absolutely infallible, advances in the world of braces have made them far more effective than ever before. So as long as you do your part to follow instructions and take the time to maintain your newly-straightened teeth, chances are, youll be rewarded with a terrific smile thats bound to last a lifetime.
The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.
by: Jack Elder