Life After Braces: What To Expect

So the day has finally come to remove your braces! After so much time, it may be hard to remember what it’s like not to have metal obscuring your teeth. As exciting as it is, it may also be a little nerve-racking. That’s why Gainesville orthodontists at Studio32 Orthodontics have compiled this list of what to expect after the braces come off.

During Your Last Appointment

To remove braces, orthodontists in Gainesville use pliers to gently squeeze each bracket, breaking the adhesive and allowing the bracket to be removed. Once all of the brackets have been removed, the orthodontist cleans the glue from each tooth with a dental tool that also serves to polish the enamel of the teeth. Because this cement also protects the enamel from damage, orthodontists generally wait until all the brackets have been removed before removing the glue. This process may vary depending on the type of braces used for the patient. Finally, the orthodontist will take a mold of the patient’s teeth to create retainers.

This process generally takes about an hour. Patients may feel some pressure during the process, but they will not feel pain.

After Braces

There should be no pain or discomfort after braces are removed, but many patients report that their teeth feel strangely smooth. Eating may feel odd for a day or two as food glides over your teeth and gums. After spending so much time wearing braces, getting used to eating without braces takes a little time to adjust. Enjoy popcorn and other food you couldn’t eat with braces!

Patients often report that their teeth feel a little sensitive at first. After being covered for so long, the enamel is now exposed to outside stimuli. This sensitivity should fade quickly, and in the meantime, fluoride toothpaste can help reduce tooth sensitivity.

It’s a good idea to schedule a checkup with a dentist after braces are removed. Depending on dental hygiene habits while the braces were on, some dental work may be necessary once they’re gone. Cavities that couldn’t be addressed while brackets and wires were in the way can finally be filled. Some patients may have white spots or discoloration on their teeth, and a dentist can provide information on the best way to whiten. Because of sensitive enamel, patients should wait a few months before attempting to whiten their teeth.

What To Expect From A Retainer

As your Gainesville orthodontist has probably explained, proper use of retainers is vital to keeping your smile straight. It may take a few days for patients to get used to wearing their retainer; they may speak with a slight lisp. Patients can practice reading aloud at home to get used to speaking with their retainers.

At first, patients will need to wear their retainers whenever they’re not eating, brushing or flossing. Eventually, retainers will only be worn at night. But you should wear retainers for the rest of your life in order to keep teeth straight.

Finally, patients should always carry their retainer case with them. The most common way for retainers to get lost is by getting wrapped in a napkin and thrown away with the trash. Pets, especially dogs, often see retainers as chew toys, so proper storage is vital in order to avoid costly replacements.

Now that you know what to expect, you’re ready to get your braces off. Contact our orthodontists in Gainesville today to schedule your appointment!