After many months of wearing fixed braces you’re probably excited about the prospect of having your braces removed – but what should you expect from the procedure?
Step One: Separating the brackets from the teeth
First, your orthodontist will slightly deform the base of the brackets using pliers by squeezing them gently. This weakens the glue holding them in place and separates the bond. Your dentist will do this for each of the brackets first, top and bottom. This shouldn’t hurt, but rather you will just feel gentle pressure on the teeth.
Step Two: Removing the remaining glue
After the brackets have been removed there will be some bonding glue left behind on the surface of the teeth. This will need to be thoroughly cleaned off by your orthodontist with a special instrument. Removing the residual glue typically takes between five and ten minutes, depending on how much has been left behind on your teeth. Again, this won’t hurt, but if you have sensitive teeth there may be some mild discomfort.
Step Three: Make a retainer mould
After having braces removed, most people will be required to wear a retainer for some time afterwards to hold their teeth in the new positions. Your dentist may recommend wearing a retainer for a few years – or even indefinitely – but each patient’s case is different. This first requires a mould to be made so that your retainer will fit the new shape of your teeth. Your orthodontist may choose to do this the week before, or the week after, your braces are removed.
Step Four: Caring for your teeth post-braces
After your braces have been removed your gum tissue may be slightly inflamed, however this should subside after a few days of good brushing and flossing. Be sure to maintain a thorough dental hygiene regime beyond that as well. Initially, the newly exposed enamel may be slightly more sensitive than usual, so don’t jump straight into eating the crunchy and chewy foods that you were advised against while you had your fixed braces. Most importantly, remember to always wear your retainer when you’ve been advised, otherwise you risk undoing all of the good work your fixed braces did.
Step Five: Enjoy your new teeth!
You’ll have waited a long time to reap the benefits of your fixed braces, and now they have been removed you can finally enjoy the feeling of having straight teeth – just remember to look after them every day!