Finally, you’ve reached the finish line and it’s time to get your braces taken off! There’s no doubt you’re excited to really see your new smile but there are a few things to be aware of before you arrive. Our Grand Rapids, MI, orthodontist can run through the general schedule for the visit and let you know if there’s anything you need to do prior to sitting down in the exam chair.
For the braces removal process, here’s what you can expect when you show up at your appointment.
Your metal or ceramic braces have worked day in and day out to move your teeth into the ideal position determined by Dr. Miller. Their job is now complete and naturally, there is no longer need for the various components attached to your teeth.
That means you’ll be asked to come into our Grand Rapids orthodontics office for your braces removal. Fortunately, there isn’t much you need to explicitly prepare for unless your teeth are rather sensitive to having dental work done. If they are, we recommend taking over-the-counter pain medication prior to arriving.
It also isn’t the worst idea if you show up with clean teeth and braces. That way, Dr. Miller and our staff have less to worry about in terms of cleaning up after the braces are taken off. What’s one more good brushing session, anyway? It’s the last time you’ll have to do it with your braces!
Once you’re seated in the chair and comfortable, we’ll start by using special pliers to loosen and remove each bracket. This will leave behind the adhesive used to initially bond the brackets to your teeth but we’ll get to that next. Hearing “cracking” or “popping” sounds during this stage is completely normal and should not cause pain.
With the brackets gone, we’ll move on to removing the dental cement or bonding glue. Because the substance is built to last, we’ll need to scrape your teeth and polish them with the help of a dental drill. This stage is all about making sure the enamel is clean, polished, and healthy.
It’s important to remember that during this appointment, you will also be fitted for your orthodontic retainer. Wearing your retainer as instructed will keep your teeth from shifting back to their original positions. To create the retainer, we’ll take digital impressions of your teeth. It will take some time for the retainer itself to be ready so we will let you know when you can retrieve it if it isn’t good to go while you’re here.
Luckily, having braces removed is much quicker and less involved than when you first got them. That’s because getting braces put on requires careful placement of each bracket, addition of the archwires, and application of all elastic bands.
The entire process should only take about an hour, though it can depend on the patient. If you’re someone who has more to their metal braces, i.e., more components, it may take us a little longer to get rid of every bit of bonding glue.
Note: It’s totally normal for your teeth to feel sore after your appointment. Try to stay away from hard foods and choose softer options for a few days instead. If you have puffy gums, this should resolve within a month or two but shouldn’t cause any issues.
Now that your braces are gone, it should be much easier to clean your teeth! You can also return to eating all of your favorite foods as long as you keep up with daily oral hygiene. Dr. Miller recommends that you continue to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once. Integrating a mouthwash into your routine is also beneficial.
Be sure to wear your retainer as Dr. Miller has specified to avoid unwanted shifting of teeth. Over time, you may be instructed to wear the retainer less but do not limit how much it’s worn unless told to do so.
When your braces are removed, it’s natural to celebrate! Our orthodontist in Grand Rapids, MI, wants you to be excited and proud of the progress you’ve made during your treatment. Call Miller Orthodontics today at (616) 942-9320 to request an appointment and either have your braces taken off or put on if you’re ready!