Orthodontic treatment with traditional braces is a big undertaking that can take a lot of adjustments, both in the chair, and in your personal routine. When the time comes to finally get them off, it’s a very exciting event!
The process of having braces removed is not as difficult as one might think. Here, we will go over the process in detail so you will know what you’re in for on debond day.
When you first come into the office to have your braces removed, the first step is for your doctor to take an extra close, detail-oriented look at the alignment of your teeth. Through his exam and questions, he will make certain there are no further nudges to be made before removing your braces.
If everybody’s happy with the outcome, he’ll begin the process of removing the brackets. A special bracket-removing tool will be used to pry each bracket off. Since the glue holding the brackets on is made to be strong enough to only temporarily bond brackets in place, this process is painless. You will experience some pressure, but this step is complete within seconds. The colors will not be removed and the wire will come out still engaged in the brackets.
Now that the brackets are off, there will be a lot of glue left over on the teeth. This is where a small, high speed burr and drill is used to smooth the bonding material off of the surface of the tooth. It’s common to have an uneasy response to the sound of a dental drill, because it’s associated with cavities and deep work in the tooth involving injections and nerve pain. This is nowhere near the kind of thing going on in this circumstance. The doctor will simply be working on the very outside surface of the tooth removing only the glue.
That’s it, your braces are off! When you run your tongue over your teeth now they will feel very slippery, as your tongue adjusts to new sensations.
Now you get to rinse and go check out your lovely, new smile in the mirror!
Some swelling around the gums is common, so don’t be alarmed. With good hygiene, this puffiness will resolve within a week or so.
After you’ve gotten a sufficient introduction and eye-full of your bare teeth, it’s time to make impressions for your retainers.
When it comes to retainers, you have some options. Dr. Twomley likes flexible plastic retainers that resemble aligners. This way each and every tooth is held in place forever. They also help protect enamel in the case of night grinding.
If you have repetitive problems with losing your retainers or just not getting down the habit of wearing them correctly, he could also install a permanent retainer to the backs of your top and/or bottom 6 teeth to keep the alignment in place.
Hawley retainers, with their traditional molded acrylic and metal wires, are still used in some offices.
Our flexible plastic retainers are very comfortable for nightly wear. You will choose to have a set made in house with impressions or order a 6 pair set from Invisalign. If you think you will need several backups, the latter is the most cost effective way to go about it.
If you’re getting a set made in house, most common, we start with taking an impression of your teeth with putty. We can flavor the putty with your choice of a variety of different flavors. Fruity, sweet, minty – whatever your preference. The flavors can help counteract the gag-reflex some people struggle with during this step.
The putty will be held up to the freshly aligned teeth with a specially fitted device for about 1 minute and then taken to the back to be used to create your custom retainer. It will be ready for pickup within a day and you will get instructions on how to wear it to make sure your teeth retain the alignment we’ve worked so hard to achieve.