A smile is one of the first things people notice about you; it can make or break a first impression. Braces may be a good option if you’re self-conscious about your teeth. Braces can help correct many dental problems, including crooked teeth, overcrowding, overbites, and underbites.

This blog will explain everything you need to know about braces, including what to expect, the realignment process, and what happens after they’re removed! We’ll also address questions like “Do braces make your smile wider?”

How braces work

Braces work by applying intense pressure to your teeth to gradually move them along your jaw until they find their correct alignment. Throughout your braces journey, you’ll have your archwires replaced and tightened every four to six weeks, so you’ll see consistent changes and progress. While the duration you’ll require braces depends on your teeth alignment, there will be a noticeable difference in your before and after braces smile — so get ready to flash your pearly whites left, right and centre!

Do braces make your smile wider?

By shifting and bringing the teeth and jaws into alignment, braces can alter the symmetry of your face shape, creating the illusion of a bigger, brighter smile. While adults who opt for braces can improve extreme facial imbalances, younger patients who are still growing and developing will notice more of a transformation as it’s easier to balance a child’s facial features by guiding and manipulating jaw growth.

What to expect after your braces are removed

While you’ll be able to smile with confidence, maintenance is key to long-term success, and there are a few stringent guidelines you need to follow to maintain optimal results.

Whether you’ve started with crooked teeth, gaps, or a misaligned bite, you’ll notice transformative results and a brand new smile once your braces are removed. While you might think your orthodontic journey ends immediately after leaving the chair, there’s still a way to go to ensure your straight smile lasts a lifetime. The retention phase begins — meaning you’ll need to wear retainers as long as you want your teeth to remain perfectly straight.

Teeth naturally want to return to their original position; there is also expected natural movement of teeth as we age. Therefore, you’ll need to remain vigilant about wearing your retainers — it will help reduce movement and keep your teeth in the correct position. If a removable retainer isn’t suitable, your orthodontist may suggest a fixed wire retainer positioned at the back of your teeth (fixed retainer) or a combination of both.

You will rely heavily on your retainers during the first year after treatment is finished. Your orthodontist might suggest a nightly removable retainer, which means you may have to wear it every night. As time goes by, you might be able to decrease the frequency to once or twice a week for maintenance purposes.

Caring for your new smile and removable retainers

Aside from diligently brushing your teeth, you can keep your smile looking straight and bright by flossing morning and night. After removing your braces, you’ll also need to take care of your removable retainers made of thin, clear plastic. They must be removed when eating, drinking, playing sports, and brushing teeth. When you remove your retainer, get into the habit of storing them in their case and cleaning them with water, soap and a soft toothbrush to remove bacteria and keep your teeth stain-free. If you lose or break your retainer, call your clinic as soon as possible to arrange a new one — teeth can move quickly. The last thing you want is to undo all your hard work.

Book your consultation at Earlwood Orthodontics — and prepare to show off your before and after braces smile.

Whether you’re self-conscious about your crooked smile or hoping to correct misalignment and overcrowding to boost your oral health, braces will help you achieve the smile of your dreams.

At Earlwood Orthodontics, our registered specialist orthodontist, Dr Jimenez, can help you get your teeth looking their best again — whether you select clear braces, metal braces, lingual braces or Invisalign. So, why not book a consultation with us today to discover how we can improve your smile? To see our incredible results over the years, don’t forget to view our before and after braces smile photos.