It’s almost time. Your braces are about the come off. This is the day you’ve been waiting for all year. Maybe 3 years. Now that it’s here, here’s what to expect.

The Final Appointment: All About Getting Your Braces Off

How Long It Will Take

You’re anxious to get the process over with, but it will probably take about an hour from the time you sit down in the dentist’s chair.

How Far In Advance Will You Know?

Your orthodontist will most likely have told you during your last adjustment when your braces should come off. However, you may have forgotten. The dentist will probably send a follow-up notice to your parents. Every 4 to 6 weeks, you return to the dentist, so if you get a reminder in the mail, you can either call the dentist, or have your parents call the dentist about the removal of your braces.

Is It Going To Hurt?

No. You shouldn’t feel any pain. You might feel a little pressure when the braces are removed, but that’s all. Your new retainer may feel uncomfortable, or might be painful, but not like your braces initially were.

What To Expect

Your orthodontist will use pliers to remove all the brackets, but first he needs to remove the ligatures. Then, he will clean and scrape off all the glue from your teeth (the dental cement). Then, you’ll receive a cleaning. Finally, he’ll take a mold of your teeth for the new retainer.

Assuming all has gone well, your teeth will look great. But, it all depends on how well you took care of them while wearing braces. They may look perfect if you cared for them really well. Or, they may be stained yellow if you did a poor job keeping them clean.

The Retainer

Even though your brace-wearing days are behind you, it’s not the end of the story. You must wear a retainer after your braces come off to hold your teeth in their new position. Many orthodontists recommend wearing retainers for years, possibly forever, to prevent them from slowly shifting out of place over time.

The good news is that cleaning and maintaining your teeth is easy. Flossing should be  snap now, and so should brushing now that there’s nothing in the way. Wait at least a month before you do any bleaching or whitening of any kind. This will give the newly exposed teeth time to become less sensitive.

Your teeth and gums will be a little sensitive at first. But, they will adjust. According to this  Orthodontist in NYC, you should schedule a dental cleaning immediately upon removing the braces. This will help clean up any areas that may have been neglected during the last few years.

At first, you will not be used to wearing the new plastic retainer. You may speak with a lisp or drool a lot. This is normal and it will go away in a few days. Practice speaking and singing, or reciting parts of your favorite book or poem aloud.

This will help you acclimate to the retainer.

Outside of that, always clean it and keep it in a safe place while you eat. Never just lay it on a napkin. on the table. Not only is this rude, but it can pick up bacteria that you will then put back in your mouth. It’s also a great way to accidentally lose it or have it thrown away.

Yasmin Hancock is a Mother of two teenagers who works at the local dentist clinic during the week. Of an evening she enjoys reading and writing, and often writes articles on dental topics for health and lifestyle related sites.

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