Your quest for straight teeth and a pearly smile appears to be coming to fruition. The months, perhaps years, of enduring a mouth full of metal braces will soon come to an end. It’s a time of excitement and anxiety. The anxious feelings are probably due to not knowing what to expect when the orthodontist removes your braces.
You knew what to expect before you had a smile filled with wire and brackets. It was clearly explained that you would need to adjust your diet by:
- Avoid foods that may stick, such as gum, caramels, toffee and the like.
- Avoid hard food such as nuts, jolly ranchers, raw carrots and apples, among others.
- Reduce sweets such as cake, candy, pie and cookies.
- Cut down on sugary drinks like soda, Kool-Aid, and sweetened tea.
Having braces was a big commitment. You sacrificed diet, convenience, and appearance. But now that your new smile is about to be unveiled, here are some things to expect in your life after braces.
Your mouth isn’t free and clear of necessary supports and you will most likely require a retainer. The last thing you want is to forfeit your investment and have your teeth slip back where they were. You can expect to receive one of three types of retainers.
- Hawley Retainers: This common type is removable and fits into the roof of your mouth. It’s custom-fitted specifically for your mouth.
- Fixed Retainers: This type is often cemented right to your lower canine teeth. You’ll need to take care when eating and brushing not to damage it.
- Essix Retainer: This is a clear removable model that fits over your teeth.
Return to Food
During your braces phase, you probably just cut certain foods out of your diet altogether. After a few days, bite into an apple and enjoy the knowledge that food is your friend again.
Listen and Learn
Every case is a little different. Your orthodontist may have specific instructions to follow. It’s imperative that you heed his/her advice. You’ve gotten this far. Finish the task. Beautiful teeth are for life.
Wisdom May Not Be Smart
When wisdom teeth burst through your gums, they can disrupt everything you’ve accomplished by getting braces. Wisdom teeth can cause major tooth shifts. Discuss having them removed with your orthodontist.
After braces, you won’t suddenly have Superman’s teeth. You will enjoy a lovely, straight smile that requires good oral hygiene. Brush and floss every day. Follow your dentist’s instructions.
Before getting your braces off, it’s a terrific idea to take a picture. You’ll appreciate the before and after images. It’s also a reminder about the reward you’re enjoying from the braces sacrifice. Smile and the world smiles with you!