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.
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.
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!
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!