What to Expect When Your Braces Come Off
Depending on the complexity of your case, your orthodontic treatment may have taken a while. There are so many check-ups involved, appointments, cleanings, and all the actual days of treatment, so much so that it may have been difficult for you to envision the end of it all. Eventually, however, the time will come for your braces to come off, and your new smile can be revealed!
So, what should you expect?
- Will I Know When It’s Time For My Braces to Come Off?
From the very beginning of treatment, it’s unlikely you’ll be given an exact date. A treatment plan will be mapped out to set a rough timeline that will cater to your smile goals, but ultimately, everything will be taken one day at a time to ensure your new smile turns out perfect and healthy.
As your treatment commences and the end creeps closer, your orthodontist will keep you updated. They may tell you during one of your adjustments that if everything continues to go according to plan, you’ll be able to have your braces off at your next appointment. Once this appointment is set, you’ll have a date to look forward to!
Keep in mind that if your teeth move unexpectedly or not enough in the days or weeks leading up to your braces removal, your orthodontist may postpone it further. This is to ensure that your treatment is fully complete before your brackets are removed, and your smile is nothing less than exactly what you had envisioned going into treatment.
- Will Having My Braces Removed Hurt?
Much like having your braces bonded to your teeth doesn’t inflict any pain, having them removed won’t hurt, either. Most topical contact with your teeth can be at least a little uncomfortable, and this is to be expected as your orthodontist begins to remove your braces and reveal your new smile.
If you’re concerned about discomfort and recall experiencing it during your braces being attached, consider taking ibuprofen as directed for any pain management about an hour before your appointment to ease any stress. Remember that you will feel a little pressure during this time, but absolutely no pain!
- How Are Braces Removed?
Your orthodontist will remove your braces by using a small set of pliers to remove all the metal brackets that were once attached. Once the brackets have been removed from the surface of the teeth, they still have to deal with the leftover glues and adhesives that once served the purpose of keeping those brackets intact. Don’t worry - they won’t just leave it there!
Your orthodontist will ensure all the adhesive has been properly removed from the surface of your teeth so your new smile is clean, healthy, and presentable. Once all the hardware has been taken off and the glues removed, your smile will be ready to show off!
- What Will My Teeth Look Like After They’ve Been Taken Off?
There’s a reason your orthodontist stressed the importance of oral care during this time. Depending on how committed you were to your oral hygiene routine, a few different things may happen when your braces are removed, and you view your new smile for the first time.
If you did your best to pay attention to the level of oral care you were providing your teeth with, you may luck out and see nothing but a perfectly white, well maintained smile. However, sometimes braces can be difficult to clean, and a great oral hygiene routine can be more difficult to develop. This means that build-up can collect on the surface of your teeth, and present itself in yellow and white stains.
It may be discouraging to see these cosmetic effects take place, but just know that if you do notice white or yellow spotting and discoloring, it isn’t permanent and your teeth can be whitened upon the completion of your treatment. Because the newly exposed enamel will need a little time to become less sensitive, you should wait about a month before whitening your teeth after braces.
However, stains or not, when your braces come off one thing you can expect and be totally sure of is that a new, straight smile will be one of the first things you see!
- Now What?
Your orthodontic treatment isn’t necessarily over when your braces come off. Once they’ve been removed, your teeth polished and all the hardware gone, your orthodontist will take impressions so a custom retainer can be created for you to wear.
This retainer is to be worn as instructed, but typically won’t need to be worn beyond nighttime. The goal is to retain your new smile, and keep your teeth from shifting back into their old positions now that they no longer have braces holding them in place. Make sure you wear your retainer as directed so you can keep your new smile looking just as great as the day your braces came off!