Making sure that you do not lose all that hard work you put into wearing braces does not go to waste, strongly depends on what you do after the braces come off. According to Humana, on average, an adult will wear braces for three to four years, and someone under 18 will wear them for about two years.
The time you dedicated can be time well spent if you do these things after the braces come off.
Wear Your Retainer
Your orthodontist will provide you with a retainer that you will need to use as directed to ensure that your teeth do not shift out of place. Typically, you will wear the retainer full-time for a specified period.
As per your orthodontist, you will at some point move to nighttime only use, but you will need to wear your retainer every night for the rest of your life. Not using your retainer as directed will cause your teeth to shift back out of alignment.
Both upper and lower retainers will need to be worn. This is a very important step in ensuring that you keep your beautiful smile in proper alignment.
Brush, Floss, Rinse
The same diligent oral hygiene routine you adopted when you were wearing braces should continue. Brush and floss regularly and rinse between meals to keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free.
You likely learned how to take special care when brushing and flossing with braces on. Keep that up. You will also need to properly clean and store your retainers. Your orthodontist can provide you with instructions on how to care for your retainers.
Make sure to keep your suggested appointment schedule with your orthodontist. In most cases, an annual visit is sufficient. Of course, if you notice that your teeth are shifting, develop pain in the jaw, or have another orthodontic concern, make an appointment.
Your relationship with your orthodontist does not end when the braces come off. The orthodontist is there for you whenever you need them. Any concerns about your teeth shifting can easily be addressed. Early intervention steps can be taken to correct the problem.
Your orthodontist is your lifelong partner in keeping your smile straight.