After several months or even years of wearing braces, the time has finally come to have them removed! You’re undoubtedly excited to see the results. However, to maintain a beautiful smile for years to come, you should take certain steps before having your braces removed and be prepared for follow-up care after getting your braces off.
Set the Appointment
You’ve undoubtedly already been meeting with Dr. Speaks consistently for adjustments, so you should have an idea of when the removal date is. You should find out for sure at the appointment immediately preceding the removal date.
However, be aware that removal could be postponed if Dr. Speaks thinks your teeth could use a little more time to reach their final perfect position. Try not to be too disappointed if this happens. We want you to have the best results possible, even if you need to wear your braces a few weeks or months longer than originally planned.
Keep Up with Dental Hygiene
You’ve come so far – don’t neglect dental hygiene now! Remember to follow all the techniques for protecting your smile while wearing braces until the very last day you have your braces on. This includes avoiding hard and chewy foods, brushing morning and night, flossing at least once a day, and rinsing with fluoride mouthwash.
The appearance of your teeth after getting your braces off depends largely on how well you took care of them the past few months and years. You might have yellow tartar spots or marks called “white scars” if you did a poor job. If you have any questions about taking care of your teeth, don’t hesitate to ask us!
Take a Few Selfies
You might be tired of seeing yourself smile with braces on, but this time in your life is about to end. Make sure you snap a few pictures of what you teeth look like a day or two before you have your braces removed so you have some good before and after pictures to look at later.
Know What to Expect at Your Appointment
Having your braces removed takes about an hour, so plan enough time around your appointment to accommodate this longer-than-usual visit. Dr. Speaks uses specially designed pliers to remove each bracket and any bands across individual teeth. The removal process isn’t painful, but you may feel a little pressure on your teeth as Dr. Speaks removes your braces. Then Dr. Speaks scrapes dental adhesive off your teeth with a special instrument, leaving your teeth feeling smooth and clean. Before your appointment is done, you also need to make a mold for your retainer.
Be Prepared to Wear a Retainer
Almost all people who wear braces follow up with a retainer to hold their teeth in the perfect position. Dr. Speaks may recommend that you wear your retainer for years – possibly for the rest of your life – so you never have to get remedial braces in the future. Don’t worry – you can expect to wear your retainer only at night so you can show off your pearly whites during the day.
Be aware that your new retainer may feel tight and uncomfortable at first. You should get used to it quickly, the way you adapted to wearing braces. If you have any concerns, ask our staff for advice.
It’s also important to take good care of your retainer so it lasts a long time. Follow these tips:
- Store your retainer in its case when you’re not wearing it so it doesn’t get lost or accidentally thrown away.
- Brush your retainer every morning after wearing it all night. Use a designated toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste. Rinse the retainer thoroughly and put it back in its case.
- Soak your retainer in mouthwash for an extra clean feeling, if you wish.
Take Good Care of Your Teeth After Braces
You’re probably excited to start eating anything you want, but don’t dive straight back into chewy or crunchy foods. Your teeth need time to heal and adapt after braces. Also, newly exposed tooth enamel will be sensitive for awhile, so avoid bleaching treatments. We’ll give you advice specific to your situation about caring for teeth after braces. Don’t bend the rules if you want your teeth to stay beautiful for years to come!
Follow Up with Dr. Speaks
Your time at Speaks Orthodontics isn’t over quite yet! We’ll want to see you a few more times once you have your braces removed to check on your teeth and make sure they’re staying in place. If you have any concerns, we’ll address them at your follow-up appointments.