Many patients wear braces for one to three years. Eventually, the orthodontist announces that it’s time to take them off. That’s exciting news, but the patient needs to continue with their dental hygiene. As difficult as it can be, it’s important to try to keep the teeth clean. A patient who fails to do so may find their teeth covered with tartar marks called “white scars” after the braces have been removed. Learn what you can do to make the most of your orthodontic treatment before getting your braces off.
What Does the Removal Process Involve?
Our orthodontist will schedule a removal date. It needs to be stressed that such dates are tentative, and Dr. Pack may decide to reschedule if he believes the patient’s teeth aren’t completely straight.
Dr. Pack will examine the patient’s teeth one last time to make certain they are truly straight. He will then squeeze each bracket with a set of special pliers, and the bracket will then come off the tooth. Metal brackets generally come off in one piece, while ceramic brackets often break apart. The patient may feel pressure and hear some cracking noises, but the process is not considered to be highly uncomfortable. Dr. Pack will also remove any bands.
There will be glue or cement residue left on the patient’s teeth, so the next step will be to clean them. They will use a special instrument to scrape the glue off the teeth. The entire removal and cleaning process typically takes about an hour.
Dr. Pack may also want to check to see if any wisdom teeth are growing in. He will therefore take X-rays of the patient’s mouth. Since the newly growing wisdom teeth could throw the other teeth out of alignment, they may need to be extracted at a later date.
When Would Someone Get a Retainer?
Dr. Pack will typically make a mold of the patient’s teeth for a custom-made retainer right after cleaning them. The vast majority of patients will have to wear a retainer. It will keep their newly straightened teeth from drifting back out of alignment. The amount of time you will need to regularly wear your retainer will depend on your personal situation, and Dr. Pack will let you know while you are getting your braces off.
How Should You Care for Your Teeth After Getting Your Braces Off?
The newly exposed enamel will be sensitive, so the patient should not immediately binge on all their favorite chewy or crunchy foods they had had to forego while wearing braces. They should carefully ease into such indulgences. They should also wait a month before getting their teeth whitened or bleached for the same reason.
The patient should schedule a dental cleaning as soon as advised. Despite their best efforts, there are likely to be places that they could not clean effectively. Once the braces are removed, that will no longer be the case, so the patient should brush their teeth thoroughly at least twice a day. The patient should continue to visit our orthodontist in Murfreesboro or Shelbyville periodically to see how well their retainer is working and if their teeth are remaining straight.
If you have any questions or concerns about getting your braces off, schedule a consultation at Pack Orthodontics, with locations in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville. Put your orthodontic care into the trusted hands of Dr. Pack and his team. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more!