10 Things You Notice When You Get Your Braces Off


Most people, unless they are very lucky, will end up wearing braces for at least eighteen months. Many teenagers wear braces during all four years of high school. By the time you get your braces off, you will have probably forgotten what it felt like to not wear braces anymore. Once the wires are out and the brackets have been removed from your teeth, you experience an adjustment period that is very close to the adjustment period you need at the beginning of your time with braces.

Here are ten things you might notice when you get your braces off.

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1. Calluses

You have calluses on the insides of your lips. This is one of the first things you notice once the brackets are off of your teeth. If you had metal braces, there are going to be calluses on the insides of your lips where there was once sensitive skin. These develop fairly quickly when you first get your braces on, but because they correspond with the brackets, you usually cannot feel them until the braces come off. Don’t worry – these will eventually go away.

2. Even Teeth

Your teeth are even. While you might have been able to feel your teeth lining up and even see how your smile changes over time, the first time the braces are off is usually the first time you’ll be able to see how even and beautiful your new smile is. This can completely change the way you look, especially if you’ve seen yourself with a mouth full of metal for the last two or three years.

3. Eating is Strange

After years of adjusting how you eat to accommodate your braces, it can be very strange to not have any of those impediments. You can bite into an apple again, eat chips without having to worry about a sharp piece prying off a bracket. Gum, chewy candies, and other sticky foods are okay again. Because you’ve avoided so many foods for so long, it is always interesting to start incorporating those foods back into your diet. The dietary freedom that comes with getting your braces off is always fun!

4. Brushing and Flossing

It’s much easier to brush and floss. No more special brushes or flossing contraptions! Keeping your teeth clean is much easier without a wire and brackets. With fewer obstacles, getting your mouth clean is a breeze, but that isn’t a license to take it easy. Especially as your mouth is getting used to not having the metal in it anymore and as you start incorporating certain foods back into your diet, it’s important to be diligent about brushing and flossing thoroughly.

5. Tender Teeth

The teeth are tender. Getting your braces off is a little bit like getting them on. It’s a big change, and your orthodontist does have to use some force to get the brackets and all of the glue out of your mouth. While it doesn’t hurt, when you get home from your last visit you might notice that your teeth and gums are a little tender. The sensation probably won’t be any different than how your mouth feels after you had a wire adjustment, but it’s still good to be aware that right after getting your braces off might not be the best time to pop in a jawbreaker.

6. Discoloration

Your teeth might be a little yellow. Having braces and getting straight teeth can make it difficult to keep your teeth white and shiny. Your teeth might be a little yellow, but it’s nothing Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg can’t solve. You might also notice some calcification. This is actually good for teeth (it means you’re getting enough calcium and that the teeth are strong), but you might not love how it looks. Talk to your orthodontist about these spots.

7. Follow Up Appointments

Your treatment isn’t really over. You will probably have at least one more appointment with Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg after getting your braces off. This is usually to make sure that your retainer fits properly and that it is keeping your teeth in line. Most people have to wear their retainers indefinitely, to prevent teeth from shifting back to their original position. If you go without wearing it for a few nights, you might notice that it feels extra tight or slightly out of place when you put it back in again. This is because your teeth have already started to shift out of alignment!

8. Additional Treatment

You might still need other orthodontic treatments. Braces might not be the end of your orthodontic treatment. Some patients still have other issues that can be addressed by spacers, partial braces, or other solutions. While many of our patients walk away with their retainers, with beautiful, straight smiles, if there are other issues you want to address, even after your braces are off, we can help!

9. Settling

Your teeth might settle. Without the brackets and wires there to hold them in place, and even if you are wearing your retainer diligently, your teeth might still shift. Don’t worry — they’re just settling and this is a natural and expected part of getting your braces off. It’s always for the better! Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg have taken this into account when deciding when to remove your braces.

10. A Beautiful Smile!

Everyone is noticing your bright, braces-free smile! Getting your braces off is a drastic change, and your family and friends will notice, especially now that they can see how even your teeth are!

If you have braces or are thinking about getting braces, that finished result — the bright, straight smile — is often the impetus behind getting an orthodontic treatment. Once your treatment is over, you’re sure to notice a big difference in your smile and the health of your mouth!

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35 responses to “10 Things You Notice When You Get Your Braces Off”

  1. Brianne says:

    Hi I’m not one of your patients but I recently got my braces off and had my last orthodontist appointment but although my teeth looked great for the first few days they seem to have shifted back to basically how they were before my year and a half of braces but I’ve been wearing my retainer every night I don’t know what to do and I don’t think I can get the braces put back on or anything but it’s really worrying me and I don’t know what to do I was wondering if u could help me out with some advice ?

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      Hi Brianne,

      Sounds like you have experienced some relapse. We would suggest you make an appointment with your orthodontist to discuss some options to get your teeth back to how they looked when you had your braces removed. There are other options besides braces to straighten your teeth.

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      Unfortunately, your teeth will always want to move back to their original position. If the retainer doesn’t seem to be working, make an appointment with your orthodontist to discuss other options for maintaining your straighter teeth.

  2. Shruti Shaha says:

    Great Article! this 10 points you covered in your article will surely useful for readers and for me as well, thanks for sharing.

  3. Liz says:

    I’m just wondering (I get my braces off tomorrow yay!) if getting them off will make you feel nauseous. When I got them on I remember feeling a bit sick.

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      Hi Liz,
      Congratulations on completing your treatment! You should feel fine when you get your braces off. Get ready to enjoy a beautiful smile!

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      Nausea is not a common symptom with braces, however, if you had a sensitivity to it when you had the braces put on, make sure your orthodontist is aware of this fact so that he or she can monitor you closely during the procedure.

  4. Jar12345 says:

    I just got my braces off and I have puffy gums all round how do I fix that thanks.

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      Sometimes swollen gums can occur after braces are removed. To reduce the swelling, make sure you are regularly brushing your teeth with a focus on the gum area. If the swelling doesn’t go down in a week or two, make an appointment to see your dentist.

  5. Karina says:

    Hi! I just got my braces removed today and my orthodontist took a mould of my upper teeth to make me a retainer, the main concern I have is that my retainer won’t be ready for a week and I’m concerned that in that time my teeth will shift back..is this possible?

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      There is no need to be concerned. There will be no noticeable shift in the positioning of your teeth in that time. Just make sure you follow all instructions when you do get your retainer.

  6. Ally says:

    I just got my braces off today, and there were some metal box-esque things surrounding a couple of my top molars. After coming home from the orthodontist, I noticed there was still noticeable amounts of the glue for the braces on the back of these teeth. Is there a way to make the glue come off at home, or do I have to schedule an appointment to get it removed?

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      All brackets and glue should have been removed during your visit. Make sure you schedule an appointment to get it cleaned up. Don’t try it on your own.

  7. Kesar says:

    HI I’m getting my braces of tomorrow and I have only had them for 5,6 days I wanted them off because they bothered me to much. Yeh and I wanted to ask will my teeth feel different ?

  8. Robin Graves says:

    Thanks for the article, I’m 34 years old and after saying no as a kid to braces, I went for it and tomorrow they come off! Just ordered a takeaway tonight because your article said there may be a feeling about eating strangely when the brace comes off. Thank you and can’t wait for tomorrow. Been on 3 years! Turns out the issue was 1 of my teeth was fused with jawbone as a kid

  9. Ally says:

    My teeth feel like they are moving, is this okay?

  10. Mary says:

    Hi, I’ve been wearing a retainer for a week now and was wondering why my teeth hurt when I eat. I take my retainer off to eat btw.

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      Your teeth may still be tender from your time in braces. Try to stick to soft foods for now and take a pain reliever for the discomfort. Don’t take your retainer on and off a lot because that could keep your teeth feeling sore. Follow your orthodontist’s instructions exactly and make an appointment if your teeth don’t start firming up in another week.

  11. Trinity says:

    I got my braces off yesterday and I have been struggling to get my bottom retainer in and out, since I am supposed to pull up from back to front, I have been experiencing chapped lips. I reapply chapstick regularly, which helps, but the corners of my mouth are starting to develope little white bubbles that look like calluses, and are very tender. Should I be concerned? When will they go away?

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      A little bit of irritation and soreness is normal. You just had your braces removed and now you are adjusting to a retainer. Give your mouth a few days to adjust and you should see a difference. If it doesn’t get better though, see your orthodontist to make sure that the retainer doesn’t need to be fitted better.

  12. Nyah Manragh says:

    I just got too braces yesterday and I would really like thetreatment plan to be a year and a half id there and thing I can do to speed up this process to make sure it happens

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      How long treatment lasts depends on several factors: if you are a child or an adult and what type of braces you are wearing. Also, some people’s teeth respond more quickly than others do. This is a process you don’t want to rush because your teeth could slip back into their original position if you take the braces off too soon.

  13. Skyla says:

    Ever since I got my braces removed at my dentist, I’ve been having difficulty eating and rinising my mouth with cold water. It really makes a couple of my teeth hurt and I don’t know if this pain will go away. Please help

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      It is normal for your teeth and gums to feel a little tender after getting your braces off, but that should fade. If the tenderness continues or you start to feel actual pain when you eat or rinse, then see your orthodontist immediately.

  14. Rather not say... says:

    Hi I’m getting braces in five months and I was wondering, when they take them off does it hurt even a little bit? I can’t handle the slightest bit of pain! (I’m not a patient of yours.)

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      It is a very similar process to when you first had your braces put on. No pain, but there might be a little discomfort. When taking your braces off, your orthodontist will have to use some pressure to take off the brackets and get all the glue off your teeth, but it won’t hurt. Your teeth and gums might just feel a little tender afterwards.

  15. Sharon says:

    Hello, I’m not a patient with you all, but I have a question. I’ve had my braces on for a little over 2 months and I’ve noticed my face has changed. My cheeks look thinner and my cheek bones are more noticeable. Is this something to worry about?

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      Don’t worry. What you are seeing is the natural result of your teeth moving into a more natural position. As you continue your orthodontic treatment and your teeth continue to move, you might see even more changes. Talk to your orthodontist if you have any concerns.

  16. Gaby says:

    So I might get my braces off on Thursday and I know this sounds a bit weird but can I keep my braces?

  17. Lex says:

    So I just got my braces off today but I have a class that I need to speak clearly in (public speaking) but my retainer makes this very difficult. I’m supposed to wear my retainer all the time except for eating but if I don’t wear it for a couple hours every day will my teeth move quickly? I’m only concerned because I just got them off.

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      It is important to follow your orthodontist’s instructions if you want to maintain your straightened teeth. If you have an important speech one day, then it won’t have a major effect if you keep your retainer out for the class, but you definitely don’t want to make a habit of it.

  18. Bayleigh says:

    Hi Dr. Gemma, I am not one of your patients and I am not getting my braces off in a while (about 7-8 months), but I am concerned about how my teeth will look after I get my braces off. I am scared they will not be as straight as I had hoped and that they will also be yellow. What should I do to prevent these things? Also, my gums are falling over my teeth. How should I floss to fix this?

    • Dr. Gemmi says:

      Don’t worry, if treatment has gone as planned, you will have a straighter, more beautiful smile when your braces come off. Sometimes a little yellowing of the teeth can occur, but this can be easily fixed with whitening treatment a month or two after your braces are taken off. If you are having gum issues, then it is especially crucial that you are brushing and flossing every day. There are special tools like floss threaders and interproximal brushes that can make flossing easier with braces. Ask your orthodontist about them.

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