You might wear metal braces for a few months or up to a few years, but what happens afterward?
Getting braces off is usually a faster process than getting them put on. It’s a safe process with no discomfort. Your Port Orange orthodontist uses a special tool to loosen the braces and then pops them off. Afterward, the adhesive that helped hold the braces in place is gently buffed off your teeth.
Before you get your braces off, you’ll have a complete orthodontic check-up. This ensures it really is time to get braces removed. So you don’t need to worry that it’s happening too soon, and can look forward to your beautiful smile with confidence!
Of course, there’s an adjustment period – just like when you first got your braces.
After the braces are removed and the teeth are cleaned, updated X-rays are taken to put in your patient file. It’s important to have these done since your orthodontist will continue to monitor your teeth over time. There are also some steps you’ll need to be ready for to protect your great results!
1. Get and Learn to Use Your Retainer
A retainer ensures your teeth will not drift out of the treated position in the future. Most patients will need a retainer, but not all. The youngest patients, who get started with orthodontic treatment from an early age, might not need them. By comparison, virtually all adult patients will use them.
There are several types of retainers. These days, most patients request a removable retainer. However, if you had severe orthodontic issues that responded well to braces, then you might prefer fixed retainers. Fixed retainers mean you don’t need to think much about them, but removable ones are easier to clean.
If you opt for removable retainers, you’ll need to wear them on a regular basis to maintain your results. That usually amounts to about 20-22 hours a day. With that in mind, you can’t soak them overnight to clean them. Still, you can take them out for cleaning, which prevents bacteria from developing on surfaces.
2. Be Gentle with Your Teeth for a While
When braces are removed, there are usually a few minor symptoms. You might experience swelling of the gums. There might even be some mild bleeding. Brush your teeth gently over the next few days using a soft-bristled brush. Be especially careful when you floss between teeth. If gums become sore after flossing, use fluoridated mouthwash. You might also wish to use a mild salt water rinse.
Teeth are usually a little bit sensitive in the week after braces removal, too. Pretty soon, you will be able to eat any foods you want. To start with, though, proceed with caution. All symptoms should dissipate within about a week. You can continue having any foods you were enjoying when you had your braces, but avoid chewing gum until you feel like your teeth and gums are fully recovered.
3. Teeth Discolored? Just Give It a Little Time
When you wear braces, small portions of the tooth surface are blocked by the metal brackets. This may lead to a slight difference in coloration by the time the braces are removed, usually when they have been in place for more than a year. Luckily, this difference usually fades within just a few months.
Sometimes, it might look like a striking difference, and it’s okay to be concerned. Because of the natural way tooth enamel refracts light, it’s a lot less noticeable to others than it would be in the mirror! But if the problem persists, ask your Port Orange orthodontist for recommendations on teeth whitening.
4. Yes, You Can Enjoy All the Foods You’ve Had to Pass On
After about a week goes by, your teeth and gums should be completely recovered. Start slowly at first, but know that you’ll soon be able to eat all the foods you should avoid with braces. That includes things like apples, caramel candy, popcorn, and anything else that might be tough or chewy.
If your child or teen is getting braces off, now might be a good time to celebrate the occasion by re-introducing any Halloween candy you had to put aside over the course of treatment. Just remember, they’ll need to be careful to brush afterward – sugar is the most potent fuel for dental plaque.
From the first orthodontic checkup to braces removal and everything in between, Dr. Beauchamp and her team are here to make orthodontic care simpler for your family. We welcome patients from age 7 up. Set your consultation to get started with quality orthodontic care.