March 5th, 2020
As time marches on, and the day arrives to get your braces off, you probably have a lot of questions. After all the inevitable discomfort that comes with having orthodontic work done, this day is a relief. But some people want to know, does getting braces off hurt? In fact, most patients have a lot of questions about this process.
At Smiles for Life Orthodontics, we love partnering with families for all their smile needs. From braces to retainers, we have you covered. You will enjoy expert care from our friendly team from start to finish.
Now that it’s time to say “Adios” to your braces, let’s take a look at some common questions and concerns that patients have, including the pain factor.
How Long Will It Take for My Braces to Come Off?
Aside from the day you got into braces, the removal is probably one of your longest appointments. From start to finish, you should plan on about an hour in the orthodontist’s chair. They will take an impression of your new bite to fit you for a retainer during this appointment as well.
You also need to plan about ten extra minutes for the doctor to go over the care and maintenance of your retainer. And don’t forget to account for the time you spend smiling in the mirror at your new reflection, because that part is the most fun piece of the braces journey.
How Will They Remove the Braces?
Removal of your bling is a pretty simple process, but it takes time to get all of the brackets off. The brackets have a bonding compound on them to keep them in place. The orthodontist or an assistant will use special pliers to pry off each bracket.
Once your teeth are bracket-free, the adhesive remains behind. The orthodontic team will use a polishing tool to remove this so that you have smooth teeth before you walk out the door. They will check over your teeth to make sure everything looks right and that none of the bonding compound is still on.
So, Does Getting Braces Off Hurt?
Here is the great news. It doesn’t hurt! You have likely spent months dreading your ortho appointments and the inevitable soup and smoothie diet that follows. But for this appointment, you should be totally comfortable. The tools for removing the cement compound sometimes irritate the gum line, but the irritation goes away quickly and is not a cause for concern.
Some patients feel pressure as the brackets pop off, but there shouldn’t be any pain unless you are really sad and broken-hearted about leaving your braces behind. If you think you will miss them too much, the orthodontist can even put your braces in a plastic baggie for you to keep!
Occasionally, some people experience a bit of sensitivity in their teeth and gums for a few days. If this happens to you, it is a good idea to wait a couple of days before enjoying chewy or crunchy foods. Cold foods might feel uncomfortable for a little while, as well. Typically, within a week, everything is back to normal.
How Will My Teeth Look and Feel?
Your chompers are probably going to feel and look better than they ever have before. Assuming, of course, you were diligent about your brushing and flossing throughout treatment. A few minutes of polishing cannot make up for poor oral hygiene. But if you were careful about taking care of your teeth while the braces were on, then you’re going to be thrilled with how they look and feel now.
In some rare cases, the brackets leave a slight discoloration where they were attached to the teeth. Please make sure to consult with your orthodontist before utilizing any whitening products. In general, is it a good idea to avoid any whitening process for at least 30 days after the braces come off.
Your teeth will feel smooth and sleek, and your mouth might feel really spacious. You might even think that your teeth look bigger since you’re seeing them unencumbered for the first time in months. Soon, you will grow accustomed to their magnificence. Enjoy!
How Do They Fit My Retainer?
Once the braces are off, the ortho team will take impressions of your bite and palate. These go to a lab where they make your new retainer that you will pick up at the next appointment. For some patients, making the mold is the worst part of getting their braces off. But even that step is quick and painless.
What Comes After the Appointment Is Over?
You will make another appointment to get your retainer. At that time, the orthodontist will make sure it fits properly and will go over instructions for taking good care of it. Your next step is to keep your teeth, gums, and retainer in the best condition possible. Nothing should change with your oral care as you work to keep your beautiful smile healthy and stunning.
The most important thing you can do to make all the hassle and discomfort of braces worth it is to wear your retainer. This simple step is the key to keeping your smile as bright and as straight as possible. Of course, using a retainer means appropriately caring for the device. The better you treat your retainer, the better it will treat you.
You will likely have one more appointment after a month or so for a retainer check. At that point, you probably won’t need to return. You and your teeth will be free to shine.
Be sure to continue with regular dental cleanings, check-ups, and x-rays, per your dentist’s instruction. With proper care and faithful retainer use, your new smile should hold steady.
Smiles for Life Is Here to Serve
Are you thinking about braces for you or a family member? The Smiles for Life Orthodontics staff are happy to be of service. We create a personalized treatment plan for each patient so that you get the best possible outcome. Reach out today to start your journey to a beautiful smile.