As you approach your final days in braces, Mack Orthodontics is here to help you navigate the process. If you’re wondering what to expect when you get your braces off, you have found the perfect blog for you! Our team has put together the essentials you need to know. Read on to learn more about when your braces are ready for removal, how the procedure works, and how to care for your teeth in the aftermath.
Signs Your Braces Are Ready To Come Off
After wearing braces for over a year, you are surely ready to have them removed to enjoy your new smile! There are plenty of signs that the time is right, including less discomfort between tightenings, your teeth being noticeably more aligned, there is more time between your appointments, and it is easier to chew, especially for those who started with bite issues.
You can always check in with Dr. Mack to inquire about your progress and learn how much longer he believes you will need to wear your braces. He is always happy to answer any questions you may have!
How Are Braces Removed
You’ve finally made it! Now that your teeth have reached perfect alignment, it is time to remove your appliance. Removing your braces is straightforward and pain-free, usually taking between half an hour and an hour.
1. Taking Off the Archwire
Dr. Mack will begin by clipping off your archwire and other components supporting your appliance, such as elastics, orthodontic bands, and ligatures. This should take only a few minutes.
2. Detaching Your Brackets
Next is removing the brackets attached to each of your teeth. Although they may seem impossible to remove due to the bonding cement used to place them, they can be removed easily with the right tools. Dr. Mack uses special orthodontic pliers to pry them off of your teeth. While you may feel minor pressure during this step, we assure you it will remain painless.
3. Removing Excess Glue
Once your brackets are gone, we move on to the final step of ridding your teeth of any glue residue left behind. We use a high-speed drill over the surface of your teeth and leave a smooth finish. Dr. Mack understands some patients are nervous after learning about a drill due to negative associations with painful dental work. However, we assure you we only work on the surface, and it will not cause any pain. This way, you are left with a perfect, refined smile ready to show off to the world.
Just like that, you are finished! On the day of your procedure, Dr. Mack and our team will give you a more thorough explanation of what will happen so there are no surprises. We will also leave you with a set of retainers to wear in order to maintain the perfect alignment you worked so hard to reach.
Establishing a Cleaning Routine
Brushing and Flossing
Cleaning your teeth throughout and after treatment is an excellent way to support the process and ensure they are on the right path to long-term health. Now that your brackets and wires are removed, you can finally brush the entire surface of your teeth. Our team recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to protect against threats such as cavities, decay, and plaque.
Flossing will become much easier now that you can get your floss string down each tooth without needing a threader. Doing so at least once a day will help remove pieces of food stuck between your teeth and prevent bacteria build-up, which can lead to bad breath.
A great way to complement your routine is using mouthwash. Many formulas include fluoride, the same material your toothpaste likely contains, helping to maximize the benefits of this ingredient and keeping your teeth as healthy as possible. Remember to use mouthwash in addition to brushing and flossing, as opposed to a replacement.
Scraping Your Tongue
Brushing your teeth does a great job of ridding your mouth of harmful bacteria, but if you don’t directly use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue, enough bacteria can remain to cause harm. This step takes only a minute and can protect your teeth even longer!
The Importance of Follow-Up Appointments
Mack Orthodontics stresses the importance of attending your check-in appointments throughout your treatment. You will continue to attend these infrequent appointments after your braces are removed. This dedicated time allows our team to detect any issues and provide relief sooner rather than later. It is also the perfect time to ask any questions you may have thought of since your last visit.
Eating May Feel Strange
Your teeth have adjusted to eating primarily soft foods, and they will need time to adjust back to eating hard, crunchy foods you have avoided throughout treatment. Your teeth and gums will be tender in the days following your braces removal appointment.
So, as tempting as it is to get right back to eating your favorite chips or popcorn, we recommend easing yourself into it to avoid causing any avoidable aches. Once your teeth start feeling back to normal, enjoy returning to your favorite meals!
Smiles For Everyone!
As you reach the end of your braces treatment, your Mack Orthodontics team will continue to support your journey. If you have any questions about life after braces, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We proudly serve Burlington, Hillsborough, and the surrounding communities with expert orthodontic services. Schedule your free consultation with Dr. Mack today!