Ah, that glorious day when you finally get your braces off. I bet you can’t wait.
Whether you just got braces or you’ve had them for a while, you know how great it will feel to get them removed. So let’s cover what that process will look like.Creative Commons
When Will I Get My Braces Off?
You might be wondering, “When will I get my braces off?”
This is the question every person with braces starts asking as soon as the last bracket is placed. Well, there are several factors that contribute to when you can get your braces removed.
Here are a handful of those factors:
- How many appointments you can make and how many you miss
- How well or poorly you care for you teeth — brushing your teeth, especially with braces, is crucial to the success of your time with braces
- Wearing all contraptions and auxiliaries is super important — for example, rubber bands and getting spacers refitted ASAP
- How complicated your teeth alignment is (the more complicated, the longer the treatment)
- Your overall health (the less you smoke or if you don’t have any systemic health issues, the shorter the treatment can be)
- Every patient’s body is different and can respond to different treatments in different ways
The most common problems that lengthen the time of treatment are when patients miss appointments, when they don’t wear rubber bands as instructed, and even broken brackets. So even if you reach the date you were originally told would be the last day with braces, it may not actually be if any of these issues have come up during treatment.
However, the patient does have full control and can choose to end treatment whenever they want. It’s not a good idea, but it is an option.
How To Get Braces Off Faster?
Basically, if you follow every single instruction from the orthodontist to the letter, that will help you get your braces off as fast as possible.
So this includes brushing your teeth as directed (2-3 times daily), removing food debris from underneath the wires and brackets, and making every appointment.
These are the things in your control that can help speed up the process of the treatment.
How To Remove Braces?
This is not something you really need to worry about because you won’t be the one removing your braces. But it can be helpful to know what the process looks like.
How Does The Orthodontist Take My Braces Off?
During your last visit, the orthodontist will pull out some special pliers (don’t be scared, they’re a professional) and begint to remove the brackets, one by one.
After the brackets have been taken off, they will scrape and clean each tooth of the residual glue. Then they will take a mold of your teeth to make a custom-fit retainer, which you will wear in the following days.
Can I Remove Braces At Home?
This is not a good idea. If you try to remove your braces yourself at home, you could seriously injure yourself and undo the long treatment you just went through.
This is just a bad idea that we’re not even going to explore it or encourage it. The only way you should get your braces removed is by visiting your orthodontist.
How Long Does It Take To Get My Braces Off?
The whole procedure of removing your braces will take about an hour.
That sounds like a long time, but the orthodontist and their assistants need to be very careful so as not to damage or move the teeth and so the process has as little discomfort you as possible.
Braces Removal Cost
Usually, the last visit to your orthodontist is included in the overall cost of the treatment. But some orthodontists will charge the last visit separately, or you may end up getting the braces removed by a different doctor because you’ve moved. In these cases, the last visit usually costs between $60 and $250.
On top of that cost, you’ll most likely need to wear a retainer, which is a separate cost to the braces removal. And that cost can vary depending on your specific situation and the orthodontist who provides the retainer. These retainers are necessary in holding the alignment of the teeth and you may need to wear one for at least six months and maybe for the rest of your life.
If you’re worried about the cost of getting your braces removed and the cost of a retainer, there are plenty of options to help with financing your braces removal. These options can include insurance, payment plans, and dental discount plans.
Does Getting My Braces Off Hurt?
We know that you’ll experience soreness, tightness, and maybe sensitivity after getting braces, but what about after the removal of braces?
Because the orthodontist will have just pulled pieces of metal off of your teeth, you may feel some soreness, but it won’t be at the level of soreness as when you first got braces. If you do experience soreness, OTC pain medication can easily help it.
It will definitely feel weird going from metal brackets on every tooth to nothing in your mouth at all — no brackets, no wiring, no rubber bands.
Caring For Your Teeth After Braces
The best things you can do to care for your teeth post-braces is to consistently wear your retainer, keep up good at-home oral hygiene, and continue to visit your dentist and orthodontist as needed.
You should always wear your retainer as directed by your orthodontist. This is a mouth device that fits over your teeth to help keep your teeth positioned properly in the long-term. Because, by default, teeth will want to move to where they were pre-braces.
You can get either a removable retainer or a permanent retainer.
Removable retainers are usually made with wire and acrylic. The wire would go along the front surface of your teeth while the acrylic mold would fit snugly on the roof of your mouth or under your tongue.
You can even have removable retainers that are clear and fit over your teeth like a glove. A good example of this is Smile Direct invisible aligners. With Smile Direct, you wear customized clear aligners for about 6 months, then you can choose to get a set of retainers that you’d wear occasionally to keep your teeth straight.
Whatever removable retainer you get, you can and should remove them when you eat, drink, and brush your teeth. This is the most convenient way of doing things and it prevents food getting stuck in it. But because they’re removable, it’s possible they could get damaged or lost.
On the other hand, permanent (aka fixed) retainers is a piece of wire that eh orthodontist cements to the back of your teeth (upper or lower), typically spanning multiple teeth. From the front, no one will be able to notice them. Once you get a fixed retainer, you won’t have to think about it, except for the period of time where you get used to the strange feeling in your mouth.
You are able to brush around the retainer and in the space between the retainer and your teeth, so it shouldn’t affect your brush habits too drastically.
After getting your braces removed, you should continue brushing and flossing as you normally would. And now that you don’t have metal in your mouth, it should be easier to clean your teeth. Plus, you can enjoy those hard, sticky, crunchy, chewy foods now.
Care For Tooth Sensitivity
Right after you get your braces off, you may experience some tooth sensitivity — you could also call it discomfort or “a weird feeling” in your mouth.
You might decide to brighten your smile after braces. You can whiten your teeth at the dentist’s office or at home. Even though you can start eating all of those good foods again, eating might be uncomfortable for a few days after the removal of your braces.
Visit Your Dentist And Orthodontist
Continuing regular checkups with your dentist (which you should’ve been doing while you had braces) is super important. Just like before you got braces, getting a professional checkup and cleaning is a key factor to overall good oral health. And, of course, you’ll need to keep any follow-up appointments with your orthodontist.
- Braces typically take nine months to 2-3 years to align your teeth
- Your orthodontist is the only person who should remove your braces
- It may take up to an hour for the orthodontist to remove your braces
- Braces removal can cost up to $250, but there are plenty of financing options to help you spend less than that
- Getting your braces removed is not painful, but you may feel some pressure
- After your braces removal, you should wear your retainer, keep good oral hygiene, care for any potential tooth sensitivity, and visit your dentist regularly