Orthodontic braces are removed once all teeth have moved to desired positions in the dental arches. When a patient nears the end of their orthodontic treatment, one of the first questions to come to mind is, Does it hurt to get braces off? Fortunately, the removal of the hardware rarely causes any noticeable discomfort for a patient. First, all the arch wires have to be manually cut in order to essentially eliminate any tension on the teeth. Elastic ligatures, rubber bands and ties are also removed before any manipulation is done to the brackets.
Does It Hurt to Get Braces Off?
Our orthodontist uses special pliers to precisely detach brackets from the teeth. A certain amount of pressure causes the brackets to smoothly break away from the cement that covers enamel. Once all hardware is removed, the next step involves some polishing of the teeth. A rotary tool is utilized to scrape off any cement that’s still stuck to the surface of teeth. In order to minimize any accidental trauma inside the mouth, a cheek retractor could be used. This simple device is supposed to prevent unexpected mouth closure that would lead to painful contact with the rotary tool. The retractor is highly recommended for young children who might have a difficult time cooperating with an orthodontist.
A dental pick is also effective at scraping off any small pieces of cement that still cover enamel. This traditional instrument is designed to minimize any accidental damage to the outer structure of a tooth. To prevent unintentional slipping of a pick or rotary tool, our orthodontist may insert dental gauze into a patient’s mouth. The small rolls or pads quickly absorb excessive saliva and other discharges that can reduce friction between teeth and instruments.
What Happens After Braces Come Off?
After braces are removed, the teeth and gums will feel very tender and sensitive. These sensations are caused by a sudden decrease in tension and pressure, which have been constantly exerted by brackets, arch wires and other hardware. Some patients might feel that their teeth are loose or fragile. It’s quite natural for teeth to slightly shift and settle into sockets deep in the gums and jaw bones. Within days of the removal of braces, the anatomy that surrounds teeth will slightly harden and become rigid.
Orthodontic brackets often leave visible spots and markings on enamel. Therefore, it’s important for patients to get thorough dental cleanings immediately after having the braces taken off. After enduring treatment for several years, people surely want their straight teeth to be free of any unsightly stains and discoloration. A professional-quality whitening solution is highly recommended for enamel that has been significantly affected by braces.
The removal of braces doesn’t necessarily mark the end of orthodontic treatment. Immediately after the hardware is taken off, our orthodontist may want to take impressions for the molding of a retainer. This is a removable appliance that has to be worn on a daily basis. A retainer is designed to apply some pressure on gums and teeth that haven’t quite settled into their permanent positions. It’s important for patients to have this plastic device checked and adjusted several times per year.
So, does it hurt to get braces off? With an expert like Dr. Runnels, you can rest assured your experience will be as comfortable as possible while you finally get to see the results of your treatment. Dr. Scott Runnels Orthodontics proudly serves Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Freeport, Miramar Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Panama City Beach and Panama City with customized orthodontic treatments for every patient. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more!