After a year or more of brackets, wires, and adjustments, the day has finally come: you’re getting your braces off. What can you expect during your appointment? What will your teeth look and feel like? How will your life change?

Our Lehigh Valley and Berks County orthodontists have helped thousands of patients just like you navigate life after braces. Here are some of the most common questions they’re asked when it comes time for the big day.

Does Getting Your Braces Off Hurt?

Getting your braces off is painless! Using orthodontic pliers, we lightly squeeze the brackets off your teeth. You may feel some pressure, but you shouldn’t feel any pain. After the brackets are un-bonded, your braces will come off in one seamless piece. Next, our team will clean away any leftover cement and polish your smile.

Does Getting Your Braces Off Hurt?

Getting your braces off takes no more than an hour. It may seem unbelievable that something you’ve worn for years can be removed so quickly, but the process is very simple. In one appointment, your life will be changed.

What Will My Smile Look Like?

After getting your braces off, a large chunk of time will be spent looking at your new smile in the mirror! The before-and-after photos are always our favorite part of any patient experience.

If you’ve taken care of your teeth (by brushing and flossing daily, staying away from acidic food and drinks, and visiting your dentist), you shouldn’t notice any stains or white spots after braces. Instead, you’ll see a glistening white, straight smile.

Any inflammation you see in your gums is normal. This should disappear in a few days.

When Do I Wear My Retainer?

You’ll be fitted for your retainer the same day your braces come off. During your appointment, we’ll take another impression of your mouth so we can create a retainer that fits comfortably. A retainer helps keep your teeth in their new position. Sometimes metal retainers are used and other times patients prefer clear retainers. You should wear it all day for the first few months. Then, you can transition to wearing it only at night.

Remember that wearing and caring for your retainer is just as important as caring for your braces! A retainer will keep your smile straight for years to come.

What Comes Next?

Eat your favorite snacks, from popcorn to gummy worms! But remember, you’ve worked hard to make this progress. You must maintain it!

  • Keep wearing your retainer
  • Brush and floss daily
  • Wear a mouthguard if you’re playing sports
  • Don’t go overboard on the sugary sweets that can damage your teeth
  • Visit your dentist every six months
  • Keep following up with your orthodontist appointments

If you’ve been considering braces for yourself, your child, or another loved one, it’s never too late to schedule a free consultation with our orthodontists to learn more about how braces can help. As so many of our patients will tell you, the results are more than worth it…they’re life-changing.