Maintenance after Braces
By Kellyn Hodges on August 02, 2013
Orthodontist Kellyn W. Hodges provides her patients with expert care and guidance through every stage of their treatment, from the initial orthodontic evaluation to the aftercare phase. At her office in Philadelphia, braces maintenance is explained to patients in great detail so that they can ensure that their results last a lifetime. Following Dr. Hodges’ instructions for maintenance after orthodontic therapy with braces is an essential component of treatment, whether a patient is fitted with traditional braces or fast acting adult braces.
If you or someone you love would benefit from orthodontic care from a true leader in the field, we encourage you to contact the practice of Dr. Kellyn W. Hodges today. In the meanwhile, here is a glimpse into what a person can expect after his or her braces have been removed.
Life after Braces
Even treatment with fast acting adult braces requires between six and ten months, during which time the mouth becomes quite accustomed to braces. Some patients feel a bit strange after their braces have been removed, which is understandable. Most patients begin to acclimate to life without braces fairly quickly, but at first some feel as though part of their anatomy is missing.
Tooth sensitivity is common after braces have been removed. After all, the teeth have gotten used to bearing a certain amount of pressure; now, they are basically being asked to stand without support of any kind. Most patients experience this sort of sensitivity to a degree, and it usually subsides within a day or two.
It is important that patients not overindulge in foods that they could not enjoy as soon as they get their braces removed. Ease into foods that are particularly hard or chewy; don’t immediately reach for the buttered popcorn. Most patients find that their teeth need a “break-in” period after their braces have been removed, and certain foods that are hard on the teeth are best avoided or consumed in moderation, anyway.
Dental hygiene is as important as ever after braces have been removed. Regular brushing and flossing are musts, and patients should attend follow-up appointments with Dr. Hodges as advised. Twice a year, the teeth should be professionally cleaned and examined to ensure good oral health.
In addition to these general guidelines, Dr. Hodges provides each patient with an individualized post-treatment plan that is to be followed meticulously. Your plan will be unique to you and will be designed to help you maintain the results of your orthodontic treatment. Braces represent a substantial investment, and the last thing you would want to do is cause any of the results of your time and effort to be undone.
To that end, Dr. Hodges may recommend that you wear a custom-crafted retainer for a period ranging from a few months to a couple of years, depending on your unique case. For many patients, retainers are necessary to “remind” the teeth of their new, optimal positions. Preventing the teeth from drifting from these positions is extremely important, particularly during the initial period after the braces have been removed.
For further information about maintenance after braces or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hodges, please call or email our orthodontics practice today.