If there's one thing all orthodontic patients have in common, it's that they all learn to adjust! This is true during treatment, and after it's over, too.
It's normal to feel frustration with the orthodontic treatment process. Just when you finally adjust to one change, you have to adjust to another one!
You adjust to wearing braces, and to the way your smile changes. You adjust to new eating differently, new oral hygiene habits, and the way you look different now. And, you have to adjust to how your mouth feels after each adjustment appointment… it can all feel like a little too much sometimes.
But, you take comfort in the fact that it will all eventually be over with, and you'll have a beautiful, straight new smile as a reward. And hopefully, you’ve become more adaptable as a result (not a bad life lesson!).
After your braces are removed, however, you'll have to go through a final set of adjustments. These are some of the ways you’ll have to adjust to once your braces come off:
Eating will feel weird.
If you recall, eating felt pretty weird and uncomfortable when you first got your braces, didn't it? Now it’s going to feel just as weird and uncomfortable eating without them. You’ll be able a lot of things you couldn't do during treatment, like biting into an apple, or eating corn on the cob.
You’ll be able to chew treats like toffee, gum, and peanut brittle again, and eat a salad without half of it getting stuck in your brackets. Your mouth will also just feel a bit off as you eat, at first. But you'll enjoy that dietary freedom!
When you first got your braces, the insides of your lips and cheeks formed calluses from the constant friction caused by the braces over the months of years of treatment. The calluses will still be there when your braces are removed, and they'll feel a bit weird until they disappear.
Brushing & Flossing
Your oral hygiene routine will be a lot less time consuming! A thorough oral hygiene routine should always be a priority, but you won't have to spend loads of extra time cleaning out all the nooks and crannies of your braces, and you can go back to brushing and flossing like normal.
Your teeth may have developed some discolouration while you had your braces, and are now darker in the places that the brackets were not attached. Some patients choose to undergo a course of teeth whitening treatment to even out their smiles.
More appointments with your orthodontist… and another orthodontic appliance.
That’s right, you’re not getting rid of us that easily! After your braces come off, you’ll have to attend a few follow up appointments with your orthodontist. This is so that he can make sure that your retainer fits properly, and your results are being properly maintained.
In addition, you’ll be prescribed a retainer to keep your teeth in their new positions. And on that note…
Your teeth, which become loosened during orthodontic treatment, are no longer being held in place with your braces, so you’ll have to wear a retainer full time for a while. In the months and years to come, you’ll have to continue wearing it periodically (usually just at night).
The day your braces come off is a pretty awesome one. You’ll finally be able to see how even your new smile is! It’s a big change that will change the appearance of your whole face.