Braces are often worn for between 18 months and 2 years, depending on the orthodontic needs, and if you’ve been wearing them for a while, you have likely forgotten what it’s like to have teeth without braces on them.
There’s every chance you’ve had daydreams about what it’ll be like to be without braces, and now the time for removal has finally arrived. You’re not just excited, you’re nervous and probably a little apprehensive. What will my teeth feel like and how will they look?
Appointments for adjustment are usually a reasonably simple experience, sometimes a little discomfort is felt, but everyone who has ever had braces knows that it’s just a case of managing the discomfort with painkillers afterwards.
Now’s the time for the big appointment, and it could feel a little scary because you don’t know what to expect!
The anticipation you feel and the worry you have about what it will feel like to have the braces removed can feel a little disarming, but don’t panic.
The great news is that having your braces removed is a relatively quick procedure. So, let’s take a look at what to expect – physically and emotionally – when it comes to getting your braces removed.
The Physical Removal Procedure
The biggest question on your lips is: is it going to hurt?
The shortest answer is no, compared to a tightening or an adjustment, removal is going to feel like a walk in the park.
The discomfort you feel when getting braces removed is only temporary while the brackets and arch wire are taken out and the cement is polished from your teeth.
Before we go into the emotional side of braces removal, let’s talk through the physical process of removing your braces from your teeth.
What To Expect During Braces Removal
During the removal of your braces, you will see that taking them off is a similar time frame as putting them on.
- There are special pliers used to pop the brackets on your teeth one by one, and bands are taken off with another tool.
- There is pressure when they are being squeezed and released, but this pressure is minimal and only for a moment.
- Next, you’ll have the leftover cement polished from your teeth. It’s the bonding cement that was used to stick the brackets to the teeth in the very first appointment you had, and this is the bit that takes the most time in the removal process.
- It may feel a little sensitive on your teeth, but it isn’t painful and it buffs and polishes your teeth so that they are left feeling smooth and strong.
- Once your braces are removed another impression is taken of your teeth. These impressions will be used to make the night time retainer that you wear at night time for about 2 years.
- The last process after your braces have been removed is to bond the permanent wire retainer to the back off your front upper and lower teeth. This wire will stay on your teeth to keep them exactly where the Orthodontist has moved them to.
Retainers are used to keep your teeth in the position that the braces moved them into.
This isn’t painful, but it can be initially uncomfortable as it’s unfamiliar in your mouth.
There are two different types of retainers that are used to keep your teeth in place.
“The great news is that having your braces removed is a relatively quick procedure.”
The bonded retainer is a wire that is glued to the back of the front upper and lower teeth, while the other type is a clear moulded mouthguard style that fits snugly over all of your teeth, which you only wear at night time.
You may also find that there may be a little bit of an adjustment in getting used to something new in your mouth.
Once you have your braces removed and bonded retainer fitted, you may even have a lisp for a short period of time while you get used to the feeling of the retainer.
From start to finish, the physical process of braces removal is around forty-five minutes to an hour.
The Emotional Process Of Having Braces Removed
The waiting is the hardest part of getting braces removed.
You may be one of those people who have waited for them to come off from the moment they’ve gone on, and that’s difficult.
It’s like waiting for Christmas and it never coming on time.
The anticipation that you feel surrounding braces removal is totally normal, but it can cloud the excitement that you should be feeling at having them taken off at last.
You may feel apprehensive or a little nervous about the process of having the braces removed, but you could also find yourself worrying about what it’s like to have no braces after this being all you’ve known for so long.
Your teeth have been obstructed by brackets for the past couple of years, so of COURSE there is going to be some worry about how it will feel or look to you.
Physically, your teeth may even feel larger than you remember.
Without the occlusion of braces, teeth may seem bigger than they really are, this can be a common outcome.
However, this passes and you will soon be smiling at every shiny surface you go past just to see your teeth and what they look like!
People will comment on your smile without the braces, and it will boost your confidence to hear how great your teeth look when you’ve spent a couple of years waiting for them to be fixed.
Your new smile shouldn’t be hidden though.
You should show it off as much as possible and beam because you have finally got the look you were looking for!