How are Braces Removed?

Bracket Removing Pliers & Band Removing PliersHaving your braces removed is an exciting time.  You’ve waited a long time and finally the time has arrived.  Yay!!

Some patients, before their braces are removed, will ask their friends about getting their braces off and their friends may exaggerate their orthodontic experiences.

Here is some information about having your braces removed.

Does it hurt when braces are removed?

It does not hurt.  When braces are removed, special pliers are used to squeeze the bracket so that they peel off of the tooth.  You may hear a small click or pop as the brackets’ adhesive is separated from the tooth.

Do you have to numb the teeth to remove the braces?

No.  There is no need to use local anesthesia to remove braces.

How does it feel after braces are removed?

Right after braces are removed, most patients say it feels slimy.  Yes slimy.   This may be due to the fact that the braces push the lips and cheeks away from the teeth and gum tissues over the many months of treatment.  When the braces are removed, the lips and cheeks are now right up against the gums and teeth.  The slimy feeling will go away quickly as you brush and floss your teeth, and it will start to feel normal.

How do you get the adhesive off?

Once the braces are removed, there is still some adhesive left on the tooth.  This adhesive is removed with a high speed hand-piece and a finishing bur.   Another way to remove the adhesive is with a special plier that will shear the adhesive off.

My braces have been removed and my teeth feel loose.  Is this normal?

Yes.  Right after the braces are removed, the periodontal ligament (PDL), which is the gum tissue that surrounds the root, is still wide.  This is normal during orthodontic treatment.  Once the braces are removed, the PDL will start to narrow and the teeth will not feel loose.

My gum tissues are puffy.  Will it go away?

During treatment, some patient’s gum tissue becomes puffy and bulbous.  As soon as your braces are removed, the gum tissue will start to shrink.  To make your gums return to normal size quickly, massage the gums with your toothbrush bristles and floss.  If after a period of time the gum tissue has still not receded back to normal limits, ask your orthodontist if a periodontal consult is needed.  In some cases, the periodontist will perform a gingivectomy or gingivoplasty to get proper gingival contours.

Do I need retainers after braces removed?

Definitely yes!  Retainers are used after braces to hold the teeth in their new positions.  If retainers are not used, the gum tissue and natural forces will move the teeth immediately and a large part of proper tooth alignment achieved with the braces will be lost.  Retainers are a must to prevent the teeth from moving back into their old positions.