What to Expect When Getting Your Braces Removed

A boy on a orthodontist chair with mirror to view his teeth.

Getting your braces removed is a big moment in anyone’s orthodontic journey. After months or years of wearing braces, you get to see your new smile in its full glory. Still, it’s natural to have some questions about the process and the aftermath. Here’s what to expect.


How Long Does it Take to Get Your Braces Off?


The length of an appointment to remove braces can vary. It will usually be slightly longer than a standard appointment.

The orthodontist will need to ensure your teeth are clean and healthy. They may also use this appointment to scan your teeth and create a digital model for your unique retainer. 


Signs Your Braces Are Coming Off Soon

If you’ve had braces on for a while, you might be looking for hints that you’re nearly there! Indications that your braces may be coming off soon include the following:

  • Your teeth becoming noticeably straighter or more aligned.
  • If you had an overbite, underbite, or crossbite: finding it easier to chew (though the new bite will take some getting used to, especially if you had surgery).
  • Gaps between your teeth closing as your teeth shift into their proper places
  • Your appointments becoming more spaced apart.
  • Feeling less discomfort or pain following each tightening, as your teeth aren’t being pulled as far.


Orthodontic Treatment Time Estimates


Treatment times can vary widely based on individual case complexity, patient cooperation, and other factors. These are general estimates.

  1. Twin Block: Typically used for children and adolescents with underbites, treatment can last anywhere from 1 to 3 years.
  2. Damon Braces: Similar to traditional metal braces, treatment time is usually between 1.5 to 2 years.
  3. Lingual Braces: These are placed behind the teeth, and treatment time is comparable to traditional braces, around 1.5 to 2 years.
  4. Invisalign: Treatment duration can range from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the severity of the case.
  5. Herbst Appliance: Primarily used for children with underbites, treatment time is generally between 6 months to 2 years.
  6. Clear Ceramic Braces: Similar to traditional metal braces, treatment time is typically 1.5 to 2 years.

Acceledent is a device that uses gentle vibrations to stimulate bone growth around the teeth, potentially speeding up orthodontic treatment. While individual results vary, it can help reduce treatment time by several months in some cases.

How Are Braces Removed?


The process of removing braces is fairly straightforward and unlikely to cause any more discomfort than a standard appointment. 

  1. The orthodontist or assistant will carefully remove the brackets from your teeth, using a metal device similar to pliers to release them.
  2. Afterwards, they will polish off any remaining adhesive with a small grinder. (It’s not as bad as it sounds!) Your teeth should be left feeling smooth and clean.
  3. Onto the big moment: the orthodontist will provide a mirror so you can take a first look at your new smile. The majority of our clients are delighted with their results!
  4. Finally, the orthodontist will create a digital model* of your teeth by scanning them with a handheld device. You are often able to watch as the digital recreation appears onscreen. 
  5. The retainer will be made using a 3D printing method, ready for your next visit. 

*This used to be done physically with the patient asked to bite into a tray of a gooey paste called alginate. Now, though, the digital method is more common. 


Pain Relief for Braces Removal


So, does it hurt to get your braces off? You’ll be pleased to hear most people experience minimal pain during braces removal. You’re likely to feel slight pressure or a pulling sensation as the brackets are detached, though. 

If you tend to struggle with pain during tightenings, take some paracetamol or ibuprofen before your removal appointment. Keep a box of pain relief in the cupboard at home in case of any temporary soreness or sensitivity.


Before and After


The ‘before and after’ journey is different for each patient, but we’re confident you’ll be pleased with the change in your teeth. 

Overjet Teeth Before Braces   Overjet Teeth After Braces

After the removal of braces, some people find their teeth feel especially light or a bit funny, but you’ll quickly get used to being metal-free!

Some patients also find they’re not sure exactly how to smile in the first few weeks after getting their braces off. That’s completely normal, and it won’t last long.


Retainers and Follow-Up Care


You may be told to wear your retainer during the day at first, but soon you will only need to wear it at night. The orthodontist will provide all the details on how to look after your retainer.

If you’re having problems with a painful retainer, get in touch to see if you need to have a new one fitted.

It’s a good idea to book in with your dentist and a hygienist in the weeks following the removal of your braces so they can check for any dental issues and carry out any necessary cleaning.

The orthodontist will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress. It’s important to prioritise these to ensure your orthodontic treatment is successful in the long run.

If you’ve moved home since your treatment (or plan to), that’s nothing to worry about. At Hampstead Orthodontics, we’re used to taking on clients whose treatment is in progress or in the follow-up stage. We’ll get all the details we need from your previous orthodontist, ready for a smooth transition.


If you require follow-up care or a new retainer following orthodontic work, don’t hesitate to contact us. For those just starting out on the journey, book a free consultation today.


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