Once you get your braces on, nothing is more exciting than seeing the beautiful results of all your hard work at the end of treatment! At Sandifer Orthodontics, our team works together with you to reach your goals and help you achieve the perfect smile you have been waiting for. We are here to share what to expect when you get your braces off and how you can best care for your teeth in the aftermath.
Signs It’s Time For Braces Removal
As your teeth shift into their final position, you may wonder what signs indicate that your braces are ready to be removed. You may have already noticed some, such as less discomfort after tightenings or adjustments, more time between appointments, your teeth being noticeably straighter, and chewing simpler, especially for those who began with a poor bite.
There are plenty of signs that let Dr. Sandifer know you are reaching your smile goals. If there is something you are curious about or have noticed changing in your mouth recently, we encourage you to ask her or someone else on your care team. We can estimate how much longer we expect you to be wearing braces and answer any other questions you may have!
How Your Appliance is Removed
Congratulations on making it to your braces removal appointment! While you may feel a mix of excitement and nerves, we promise everything will go well. Our team is here to explain the whole procedure, which usually takes no more than an hour.
1. Taking Off the Archwire
Dr. Sandifer will start by clipping off your archwire and unthreading it from each bracket. She also removes any additional components you have attached, such as orthodontic bands, elastics, and ligatures. You can expect this step to go by the quickest.
2. Detaching Your Brackets
Your brackets are next in line for removal! You may remember Dr. Sandifer used orthodontic glue to keep them sturdy when placed initially. As permanent as they may feel, don’t fret. They can be easily removed with the right tools. We use a pair of special pliers to pry them off of your teeth. You may feel minor pressure during this step, but no pain will be involved.
3. Removing Excess Glue
Once your brackets are gone, we remove any glue residue on your teeth. Our team uses a high-speed drill over the surface of your teeth to leave a smooth finish. Dr. Sandifer knows some patients may feel anxious after learning we use a drill during this procedure due to negative associations with painful dental work. However, we assure you we only work on the surface. This way, you are left with a perfect, refined smile ready to show off to the world!
Before you know it, your braces removal procedure will be finished! On the day of your appointment, Dr. Sandier and her team will take the time to explain everything in more detail so you are aware of everything we will be doing. No surprises here! Our team leaves each patient with retainers to help your teeth settle into place and keep your perfect smile for a lifetime!
Why Your Check-Ins Matter
Even after your braces are gone, we continue to see you for infrequent follow-up appointments to ensure that everything is going according to your treatment plan and that no issues have arisen since the last time we saw you.
It is essential you prioritize this time, as we get fewer chances to see you. If necessary, timely treatment can save you from future procedures. This is also the perfect opportunity to ask any questions you may have thought of.
Regular Oral Hygiene Practices
Brushing and Flossing
One of the best ways to maintain excellent oral health and protect your teeth in the future is by brushing them. Your brackets and wires cover up some areas of your teeth, so you finally have the opportunity to clean the entire surface without trouble. Sandifer Orthodontics recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to protect against plaque, bacteria, cavities, and tooth decay.
Flossing once daily after brushing your teeth will help bolster your health. Without the presence of your wires, you will no longer need to use a floss threader to get the job done. Keeping up with this habit will help remove pieces of food stuck between your teeth and prevent the build-up of bacteria, which can lead to bad breath.
Swishing with Mouthwash
A great way to complement your routine is using mouthwash. Many formulas include fluoride, the same material your toothpaste likely contains, helping to maximize the benefits of this ingredient and keeping your teeth as healthy as possible. Use mouthwash in addition to brushing and flossing, as opposed to a replacement.
Cleaning Your Tongue
Yet another way to protect your oral health is by cleaning your tongue with a tongue scraper at the end of your brushing routine. When you brush your teeth, the surface layer of bacteria falls off your mouth, but using a scraper directly on the surface helps eliminate any harmful particles.
Adjusting To Eating
Your teeth adjust to eating primarily soft foods during the year you have braces. When you remove them, you will need time before immediately returning to eating hard, crunchy foods you have avoided throughout treatment. Your teeth and gums will be tender following your braces removal appointment, so sticking to soft foods for a few days will save you from unnecessary discomfort or chewing.
As tempting as it is to get right back to eating your favorite chips or popcorn, ease yourself into it. Once your teeth start feeling back to normal, enjoy returning to your favorite meals!
Your New Smile Awaits!
Even after achieving your perfect smile, Sandifer Orthodontics remains a source of support for you in your orthodontic journey. If any questions arise after we remove your braces, please contact us so our team can help you. We serve Jackson, Brandon, and the surrounding communities with our services and always welcome new patients! Schedule your free consultation today to get started!