Published on November 8, 2016, Updated on April 16, 2020
When the day arrives for you to get your braces off you may feel a mixture of emotions, much like how you felt the day you got them on. You’re excited to be finishing treatment. You are anxious to see your new smile, but you are also apprehensive. You have settled into a routine with your braces. You are used to them now. You may wonder what you will look like without them and how your peers will react. You may also be nervous about what it will feel like to have your braces removed. Will it hurt? With all of these questions flooding your mind, it can start to feel overwhelming. Preparing for your braces removal appointment will help you reach that day with excitement and not fear. Learn what to expect when you get your braces off so you look forward to the appointment and enjoy it more!
How long will the removal process take? Will it hurt? What will my teeth look like after? These are all questions that patients ask us before the removal of their braces. For most patients, we estimate it will take about an hour to remove the braces and bonding material from the teeth. The actual brackets/appliance come off very quickly, but we take special care removing the residual bonding material from the teeth so that we don’t endanger the enamel of the teeth. Removing your braces is much easier and quicker than putting them on. The removal process requires gently squeezing each bracket with special orthodontic pliers to safely separate the bracket from your tooth. Following the removal of the bracket, we will use a polishing tool that helps us safely remove the bonding material from your tooth. The process is painless. You may feel some pressure as we remove some elements of the dental appliance, but not pain. Your teeth may feel slimy under your tongue because you have gotten accustomed to finding components of your braces there before! They will stop feeling that way quickly as you adjust. If you were dedicated to your oral hygiene efforts while you were wearing braces, your teeth should be free from any signs of demineralization or “white scars.”
Following the removal of your braces, we will take digital x-rays of your teeth for our final records. We will also have digital impressions made for your retainers. Retainers must be worn following braces to ensure that your teeth stay in place! After all your dedication to your orthodontic treatment, having your teeth relapse into their former positions is the last thing you want to have happen! You can learn more about your retainer options during your braces removal appointment and through the patient education on this website.
Your teeth have grown accustomed to your orthodontic appliance during your treatment. Because of this, your newly exposed enamel may be more sensitive as it adjusts to the absence of the appliance barrier. For the first month following treatment, avoid bleaching and whitening treatments to allow your teeth to become stronger and more resilient to cosmetic treatments.
The temptation to rush out and eat all those foods you have been avoiding since you were wearing your braces may be hard to resist. However, your teeth and gums will be more sensitive following the initial removal of your braces and need time to adjust. Hard, crunchy or chewy foods are not the best choices for your teeth for the time being. Introduce those foods back into your diet in moderation so you don’t make eating uncomfortable or endanger the health of your teeth.
Dr. Hardy and his staff will make sure that your teeth are cleared of all orthodontic material from your braces, but it is a good idea to schedule a dental cleaning following the removal of your braces so that your dentist and hygienist can address areas that may have experienced some neglect since your braces made it harder to reach certain areas of your smile. Braces can sometimes make it harder to see areas that you are regularly missing. Your dentist can assess the health of your gums and teeth and make recommendations for treating areas that may need more attention than others.
Getting your braces off is a day you will, likely, never forget. Seeing your new smile is an exciting moment. After months and months of looking at your smile with your braces on, a braces-free smile may take some getting used to! It is normal to feel some unease as you adjust to the newness of this new braces-free stage in your life. Embrace this healthy, new smile that is all YOU!
Preparing for the removal of your braces need not be something you fear. This is an exciting time you should be looking forward to with happy anticipation. Getting your braces off is one of those days in your life that you will probably never forget. Seeing your new smile for the first time is so thrilling! To help dissipate any anxiety you may have about getting your braces off, learn what to expect! Dr. Hardy and our Erie office staff are here to help you! Please contact our office today at 720-887-6003 to make an appointment.