So the day has finally come to remove your braces! After so much time, it may be hard to remember what it’s like not to have metal obscuring your teeth. As exciting as it is, it may also be a little nerve-racking. That’s why Weber Orthodontics has compiled this list of what to expect after the braces come off.
During Your Last Appointment
To remove braces, Dr. Weber uses an instrument to gently squeeze each bracket, loosening the adhesive and allowing the bracket to be removed. Once all of the brackets have been removed, she cleans the glue from each tooth with a dental tool that also serves to polish the enamel of the teeth. Because this cement also protects the enamel from damage, orthodontists generally wait until all the brackets have been removed before removing the glue. This process may vary depending on the type of braces used for the patient. After the braces are removed Dr. Weber and her team take final photographs to be able to compare your initial smile to your final smile (this is the fun part). They will then take molds of your teeth to fabricate your retainers. You then have to come back to the office to pick up your retainer later the same day or the following day.
This process generally takes about an hour to an hour and a half. Patients may feel some pressure during the process, but they will not feel pain.
There should be no pain or discomfort after braces are removed, but many patients report that their teeth feel strangely smooth. Eating may feel odd for a day or two as food glides over your teeth and gums. After spending so much time wearing braces, getting used to eating without braces takes a little time to adjust. Enjoy popcorn and other food you couldn’t eat with braces!
Patients often report that their teeth feel a little sensitive at first. After being covered for so long, the enamel is now exposed to outside stimuli. This sensitivity should fade quickly, and in the meantime, fluoride toothpaste can help reduce tooth sensitivity.
It’s a good idea to schedule a checkup with a dentist after braces are removed. Depending on dental hygiene habits while the braces were on, some dental work may be necessary once they’re gone. Cavities that couldn’t be addressed while brackets and wires were in the way can finally be filled. Some patients may have white spots or discoloration on their teeth, and a dentist can provide information on the best way to whiten. Because of sensitive enamel, patients should wait a few weeks before attempting to whiten their teeth.
What To Expect From A Retainer
As Dr. Weber has probably explained, proper use of retainers is vital to keeping your smile straight. It may take a few days for patients to get used to wearing their retainer; they may speak with a slight lisp. Patients can practice reading aloud at home to get used to speaking with their retainers.
At first, patients will need to wear their retainers 10-12 hours/day. After a few months Dr. Weber will change you to nights only. You should wear retainers for the rest of your life in order to keep teeth straight.
Dr. Weber will give you a case to keep your retainer in. The most common way for retainers to get lost is by getting wrapped in a napkin and thrown away with the trash. Pets, especially dogs, often see retainers as chew toys, so proper storage is vital in order to avoid costly replacements.
Now that you know what to expect, you’re ready to get your braces off. Contact our orthodontist in Kansas City and Kearney today to schedule your appointment!
At Weber Orthodontics, we care about your health, and want your dental experiences to be good ones. We offer traditional, clear, and Invisalign braces. Contact our office by phone (816) 746-1200 or complete our appointment request form to schedule an appointment.