Caring for Your Winning Smile after Braces or Invisalign® Treatment

Orthodontics, Dr. Derek Brown, Winning Smiles Orthodontics, Bowie and Hyattsville, MD

The tremendous amount of time and money that you have invested in creating your Winning Smile is now complete. You put in tons of work to get that perfect smile. You wore your Braces or your Invisalign aligner trays and cared for your teeth, and now your treatment is done. What do you do now though? Well, you still need to take care of your teeth to keep that Winning Smile. These are the things that you must keep in mind going forward as to how to maintain that great smile for a lifetime.


All patients require retainers after Braces and/or Invisalign treatment. Please follow the precise instructions that Dr. Brown gave you about the use and wearing requirements of your retainers when you were fitted for them. Retainers prevent your teeth from shifting back to unsightly positions. Most patients must wear their retainers full-time for anywhere from 1-12 months after the braces are removed, followed by a life-time of night-time only wear. Each person’s situation is unique though, so be sure to ask Dr. Brown what his recommendations are for you.

Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing must be part of your daily oral care routine. Flossing helps remove the plaque before it becomes tartar or calculus. This build up can lead to gingivitis and gum disease. Gums are often more sensitive for a week or two after orthodontic work is completed. Oftentimes the mild amount of swelling of the gums which occurred while the braces were on, completely resolves itself once braces are removed. The gums subsequently tighten up and display a healthy architectural appearance. Warm salt water and Listerine rinses may relieve any discomfort, and help the gums to heal a lot faster post-orthodontic therapy. Your teeth may also be slightly sensitive for a short time post-orthodontic therapy. You might want to try a sensitive
toothpaste to get through the transition. We will be happy to recommend the best type for your specific needs. If your teeth are stained, a professional whitening treatment can be considered.

Regular Dental Checkups

You still need to have regular dental exams. Professional cleanings and X-rays make sure that both your teeth and gums stay healthy so you can keep your teeth for life. If cavities or other problems are found, they should be addressed immediately. Our typical recommendation is that our patients go back to their primary dentist for an evaluation and cleaning within 1 month of their braces removal or Invisalign completion date.

If you have any questions about how to care for your teeth after your braces or Invisalign program, please ask our Winning Smiles Orthodontics team. We want you to keep your Winning Smile and enjoy the great results of your treatment for a lifetime!

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