How Are Braces Removed?
By Dr. Tyler Coles – Premier Orthodontics
Table of Contents
One of the most exciting days of the entire braces process is the day your braces are removed!
In this article we’ll discuss what you should know about getting your braces off, and whether you should try to remove your braces at home…
What is the braces removal process?
The braces removal process is pretty straightforward:
1. First, the orthodontist will verify that your teeth and bite are correct and that your braces are ready to be removed.
2. Using a special “bracket removal” instrument, the orthodontic or orthodontic assistant will remove brackets from the teeth, leaving the adhesive or “braces glue” on the teeth.
3. Next, the orthodontist or orthodontic assistant will use a specialized instrument to remove the bracket adhesive from your teeth. This may be a polishing instrument in a dental handpiece (dental drill), or it could be a plier tool that scraped the adhesive from the surface of the teeth.
4. The orthodontist or orthodontic assistant will do a final polishing to make sure all the adhesive is removed and that the enamel is clean, polished, and healthy.
5. At this time you may receive a permanent retainer on your teeth, or your orthodontist may recommend that you receive a removable retainer instead.
The braces removal process is fairly simple, and one of the most common orthodontic treatments to perform.
How long does it take to remove braces?
The braces removal process usually takes between 30-45 minutes. There are several steps in the process and obviously it’s best for the orthodontics to take enough time to do it right and not to rush!
If you are going to be receiving a permanent retainer, this may take a bit of extra time as part of the process.
Will it hurt to get braces off?
Getting your braces removed from the teeth generally won’t hurt. With the proper tools (which any orthodontist should have) it’s usually a simple procedure to remove the brackets safely and comfortably from the teeth.
Removing the dental adhesive or braces glue can be a bit uncomfortable for those with sensitive teeth. If your teeth hurt when you eat ice cream or drink cold water, this is about as much discomfort as you will feel. In order to remove the adhesive the orthodontist has to use the dental handpiece and polish off all the adhesive. The handpiece usually has a stream of air that can cause some discomfort for those with cold sensitivity.
It’s important to realize that many patients have their braces and glue removed with almost no discomfort at all – while others may have some discomfort during the adhesive removal process. The good news is that we only have to do this once…
…and the braces glue can usually be removed in 5 minutes or less (the most unpleasant part of the process) and then it is over!
Can I remove my braces at home?
Recently there have been videos popping up on YouTube demonstrating how to remove your braces at home…
…and in our professional opinion this is NOT a good idea.
First of all, you won’t have the proper instruments for bracket removal at home.
While it’s possible to remove your braces using pliers that you find in your garage—there’s a good chance that this will be VERY painful . . . and it could permanently damage your teeth!
The bracket removal plier used at the orthodontist is designed to “squeeze” the bracket, causing it to pull away from the tooth. The pressure is applied to the bracket itself, and not your tooth, in an effort to make it more comfortable.
If you’re using pliers from a traditional tool store, there’s a good chance that it will be very painful to take off your own braces. There are times that this can even cause permanent damage to the teeth – like having large “chunks” of enamel breaking off of the teeth!
Can I remove braces glue at home?
There is honestly no good way to remove braces glue at home. It can’t be dissolved, it can’t be brushed off, and trying to scrap it off is dangerous or ineffective. The bottom line? Please DO NOT try to remove your braces glue at home.
We understand that there are circumstances where individuals can no longer afford their orthodontic treatment – and in these situations some may feel like their best option is to stop going to the orthodontist and to take their braces off at home.
This is never a good idea — if you can no longer afford your orthodontic treatment we’d encourage you to reach out to your orthodontist and let them know your situation and discuss what can be done.
Your orthodontist genuinely wants to help and their office will work with you to find a way to help remove your braces safely so you won’t cause your teeth permanent harm.
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