What to Expect When your Braces Come Off
Most people have a love-hate relationship with their braces. The outcome of a beautiful, aligned smile makes braces well worth wearing, but the regular orthodontist visits, braces tightening, and limiting of what foods you can eat can be a pain.
The day you finally get your braces off marks the end of all that hassle. Now, you’re free to enjoy that amazing smile you worked so hard and endured so much for. Whether you’re a young teen or a mature adult, getting your braces off can seem like the end of a long rite of passage. The reward? A great smile you can be confident in showing off to the world.
Don’t go skipping off into the horizon just yet though. Getting your braces off is a major transition, and properly caring for your mouth afterward is essential to maintaining the results you’ve achieved. Your orthodontist will walk you through what to expect once your braces come off, but here are a few points to keep in mind to handle the adjustment, and keep your smile looking its best.
The Removal Process
It’s normal to have some uneasiness about having your braces removed. After all, many orthodontic procedures result in some discomfort to the patient, but the removal process should be a breeze. Your orthodontist will use special oral pliers to squeeze each bracket in order to break the adhesive that holds it to your tooth. The orthodontist will then clean away any excess adhesive that remains.
The tool that removes the bracket adhesive actually has a polishing effect on your teeth as well, so your teeth will likely feel smooth and shiny when the process is complete. There may be some discolouration on your teeth from where the bracket covered compared to the surrounding area. This discolouration should quickly fade with a good oral hygiene regimen of brushing, flossing and mouthwash.
How Will it Feel?
Your teeth and gums have had pressure on them for years, and suddenly that pressure is removed. It is normal for your teeth and gums to feel tender for some time, a feeling which should fade after a day or two.
Your mouth may feel foreign to you once you’re free from braces. After years of a mouth full of metal, the feeling of straight, smooth teeth will be a novel one. Running your tongue along the straight edges of your molars or your perfectly aligned front teeth could throw you for a loop. Seeing your reflection in the mirror will be an adjustment as well. Whereas before you were used to uneven teeth or the look of braces, you will now see beautifully aligned teeth.
Wearing braces comes with all sorts of food rules that can feel bizarre to break once your braces are off. Eating apples, gummy candy, carrots, or popcorn has been off-limits for the duration of your braces; now that they’re off, you’re free to incorporate these foods back into your diet again. Eating without worrying about debris getting stuck between brackets, or breaking a bracket off entirely, is liberating.
Eating may feel strange for a while. You’re used to monitoring each bite closely to ensure no damage comes to your braces and brushing immediately afterward to remove gunk from your grin. Eating with no restrictions can seem odd, but you’ll get used to it in no time.
Don’t be alarmed if your newly freed teeth shift slightly. Without extensive wiring to hold them in place, there may be some movement as everything settles into place. Don’t be alarmed; your teeth aren’t moving back to their original positions. They’re just choosing a happy home to stay in going forward.
The presence of braces can form calluses in your mouth that can’t be felt while the braces are still on. Once they’re off, they become apparent. Don’t sweat it; they will go away soon. Braces can do all sorts of things to the insides of our mouths. When braces are removed it gives the mouth a chance to heal from all their effects.
Getting braces off is a happy occasion! You’re graduating from having crooked teeth to an aligned smile, one that radiates confidence and maturity. The after-effects of having braces removed are mostly due to the unfamiliar sensation of a totally freed mouth. You’ll quickly adjust to the freedom and convenience of no longer having a mouth full of metal.
Dawson Dental offers trusted dental professionals across the GTA and Ontario. We have several clinics within the city of Toronto, making it easy to find services wherever you’re located. We are passionate about patient care, education, and maintaining relationships that support dental health for a lifetime.