What Happens Immediately After Removal of Braces? Having braces removed is a big event for your child. All of the pain and restrictions will finally pay off when she sees the results she’s been waiting for. While your child is likely dreaming of the big reveal or eating his favorite foods again, you probably have questions about what happens next.
The Removal of Braces
If you are concerned that this is the final moment for you to ask questions, don’t worry. Orthodontic care continues after the removal of braces. Our team will be available throughout the transition to help ease discomfort and uncertainty. Removal of braces is a happy time you and your child should enjoy. Learning the facts helps you both look forward to the future with a beautiful smile.
During the Appointment
The appointment to have your child’s braces removed will take a little longer than most of the recent orthodontic visits. However, it is a simple process and well worth the wait. You might want to snap a picture before the appointment to compare with the ones in the future.
- The appointment will begin with an exam to be certain teeth are ready for the removal. It is rare, but sometimes teeth move in the final weeks, and braces must stay on for a longer period of time.
- The orthodontist will use a pair of pliers to pinch the brackets which break the adhesive holding the braces to your child’s teeth. He might feel some pressure during the process, but it doesn’t hurt.
- After all of the brackets are removed, a special tool will be used to scrape and clean the remaining glue. This tool also polishes tooth enamel for a shiny new smile.
- Your child will likely get a minute to view her new smile after cleaning. The appearance of her teeth will depend on how well they have been taken care of while the braces were on. If she was diligent about home-care, teeth will look shiny and polished. All that hard work pays off when your child sees the smile she has been waiting for. Poor home care results in yellowing and scars. Discoloration can be repaired over time.
- An impression of your child’s teeth and the roof of his mouth will be taken to create a new retainer. He might receive a metal and a plastic retainer. The retainer is removable but expected to be worn at all times except when eating and flossing for the first few months.
- Your child’s appointment will likely finish with instructions and a chance for you both to ask any remaining questions.
After having braces removed, it is normal for teeth to be sensitive. Gums might be slightly inflamed from the process as well. Callouses may have formed on the insides of lips from rubbing metal brackets. These will go away over time. Post-treatment gum inflammation is normal and will subside in a few days with proper brushing and flossing. If your child complains, treat the discomfort in the same way as when braces were adjusted. While he might be in a rush to enjoy favorite foods, it is a good idea to ease into eating tough crunchy foods a little at a time.
Sometimes, teeth have yellow tartar build-up or calcification that looks like white spots. This happens because it is more difficult to brush properly with braces in the way. Since tooth enamel is delicate after having braces removed, it is important to wait at least a month to have any whitening treatments.
Having braces removed is not the end of your child’s orthodontic journey. A retainer is necessary to prevent her teeth from moving back into the old positions. The new retainer might have a few unanticipated side effects. It might feel tight at first, similar to a brace adjustment. Your child may suddenly have developed a lisp. Encourage her to talk, read, and sing aloud to get used to working around the new hardware in her mouth. She may also notice extra saliva, or have trouble not drooling. This is normal and will go away after a few days.
Brushing and flossing will be easier than ever, after years of working around brackets and wires. Remind your child not to slack off with good habits during this time. He will be introducing new foods back into his diet, and likely consuming more sugary sweets.
Proper retainer use is vital to keep newly positioned teeth straight. A retainer should be worn at all times during the first few months except when eating or brushing and flossing. Even a day or two without a retainer can make a difference during this critical time. Remind your child to clean her retainer daily and carry a case with her for mealtimes. A retainer placed on a napkin during mealtime often ends up in the trash.
Appointments will likely be scheduled during the first year after your child’s braces have been removed. The orthodontist will check on the continued fit of the retainer and make certain that teeth are staying in position. Since teeth can shift easily when braces are first removed, you should remind your child that the orthodontic professionals will notice if she has been skipping days wearing her retainer.
Follow-up appointments may be spaced closely at first, then taper off. Often, with proper retainer wear, your child’s final orthodontic appointment will occur only a year after braces are removed. It is critical to follow all mouth-care instructions to keep teeth strong and healthy.
A final reminder to always give your child after removal of braces: Smile! After what might seem like an eternity of treatment, they have earned the chance to show off a healthy smile.
If your child’s dentist has recommended braces, it is important to consult with an orthodontic team. Our specialists can answer all of your questions and determine a plan for treatment. Call Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics today or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation and get on the path to a beautiful healthy smile.
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Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle
Suite 200 Larkspur
What Happens (After Removal of Braces?)
Dr. Jasmine Gorton, a Bay Area native, graduated from UC Berkeley with Bachelor degrees in both Integrative Biology and Social Sciences and then went on to graduate from Harvard with honors for her Doctorate in Dental Medicine.
She continued her education at UCSF with a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Growth and Development, followed by an Orthodontic Residency with a Master of Science in Oral Biology.
She is Board Certified in Orthodontics. She received the American Association of Orthodontics Award for Craniofacial Research and the Harvard Odontological Society Award for Excellence in Research. Her work on preventing decay around braces has been published in the American Journal of Orthodontics.