How to Care for Your Teeth After Braces

We have loved helping you transform your smile at Jennings Orthodontics! It has been fun getting to know you, and we are honored that you trusted us to care for your orthodontic needs.

Once you finish active treatment (braces), you begin the retention process (keeping your teeth in place). Now that your braces have been removed, you might wonder, “How do I preserve or continue to improve my smile?” There are a few things you can do to ensure your smile remains everything you dreamed it would be! Let’s go over a few!

No braces means I can floss less, right?


In active treatment, we stressed the importance of keeping your mouth clean. Good, consistent habits rid the mouth of bacteria, plaque, and germs that can cause bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss, among other things. Continuing or beginning the following practices is crucial to protect your pearly whites!

  • Brush and floss twice a day!
  • Use quality toothpaste and mouthwash. Products that aren’t right for you can erode your enamel and wear down the gum line. 
  • Don’t overbrush or brush too hard. Brushing too long and with too much force can wear down the enamel and recede the gum line. Try an electric toothbrush with an automatic timer and pressure sensor to help improve your brushing technique.
  • Adjust your diet to avoid acidic or sugary substances that harm the teeth.
  • Rinse the mouth with water after eating to remove any residue that can stick to or stain the teeth.
  • Use a water flosser! These devices help rid the mouth of anything left behind by brushing and flossing. They are perfect for those hard-to-reach places and stubborn food particles.
  • Replace your toothbrush head every three months and the tip of your water flosser every six months. Unclean tools are less effective!

Everyone’s oral healthcare needs are different, so don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Jennings or your dentist for personalized guidance or product recommendations.

Do I really need to wear my retainer?


Teeth have excellent memories, and more often than not, they are unhappy that we moved them. When we remove your braces, your teeth will try to move back to their original positions. That’s where your retainer comes in! Your retainer is essential to maintaining your alignment.

As the name suggests, retainers are meant to retain your teeth in their new positions while the mouth stabilizes. If your retainer is removable, it is important that you wear it as prescribed! Neglecting or forgetting to wear it gives your teeth the time and space they need to regress. If they shift enough, you might have to restart active treatment. 

How do I care for my retainer?

You and your retainer should be best friends — you don’t want to go anywhere without it! It is unlikely that there will be a time when you don’t need your retainer, so you want to make sure that you take good care of it. The good news is that caring for a retainer is super easy! 

Cleaning your retainer only takes a few minutes a day! The correct way to clean your equipment depends on the type of retainer that you have, so be sure to ask Dr. Jennings for instructions when you receive your orthodontic appliance. 

Retainers are small and sometimes transparent, making them easy to lose. When you are not wearing your retainer, it should be in its protective carrying case. The case makes it easier to keep track of them. It also protects them from physical damage, such as being stepped on or chewed on by a pet. You might be surprised to discover how many retainers end up in gross places, such as restaurant bus tubs or unclean public surfaces. The easiest and most effective way to safeguard them from germs is — you guessed it! — put them in their case!

Since my braces are gone, do I ever have to see my dentist or orthodontist again?

After removing your braces and receiving a retainer, you will still need to see Dr. Jennings every so often so she can monitor your alignment and ensure your retainer is doing its job.

We also strongly encourage you to attend regular cleanings with your dentist! At these appointments, your mouth will be cleaned professionally and X-rayed. Your dentist will look for any issues, such as tooth decay or gum disease, and administer any treatment if necessary. Going to these dental check-ups as recommended by your oral healthcare provider is vital to spot and treat problems before they permanently damage your smile.

How to Care for Your Teeth After BracesJennings Orthodontics is here for all your retention needs!

Your orthodontic journey at Jennings Orthodontics from the moment you place your first phone call. We strive to provide outstanding customer service and orthodontic care before, during, and after active treatment.

If you need to schedule a follow-up appointment, require a replacement retainer, or have questions regarding retention and oral healthcare, please get in touch with us! Our dedicated team is always here for you, and we look forward to seeing you!