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Braces are specifically designed to straighten teeth. Misaligned teeth (malocclusions) or overcrowding of teeth vastly impacts our appearance, affects how we eat and how we talk. Ill-fitting teeth can create tooth decay problems, like gum disease, cavities, empty spaces (interdental), and the loss of teeth.
We need our teeth to keep our jaw aligned as we move our mouths every day. When teeth become problematic, this is a good time to see an Orthodontist. As an oral professional, an Orthodontist specializes in how the jaws and teeth become aligned for better health.
Men, women, children, and teens can be fitted for braces. Teenagers make up most of the wearers of braces because they are in constant growth spurts. The braces for children and teens are to help prevent future malocclusion problems which can greatly affect their health and confidence.
There are several popular types of braces which include:
• Metal Braces: Metal braces are more of the traditional design where they are made of metal brackets with malleable metal wire threaded through them resting against the teeth. On the lower end of costs, metal braces are effective and are less expensive especially fitting them for teens.
• Ceramic Braces: Ceramic braces are favored because they can be matched to the appearance of natural teeth. Depending on the condition of the teeth, an Orthodontist can also use a wire fit with ceramic braces. But with modern technology, a wire or small rubber band can also be made to match the color of the teeth.
• Invisalign: Invisalign braces are modern technology to help straighten teeth without any wires. They are custom-made clear and are comfortable aligners that help the teeth to move back into its natural position. Invisalign is a changing dynamic in braces. An initial fitting for this aligner will change as the teeth become straightened, meaning that a person will be refitted repeatedly until the Orthodontist is satisfied with the results.
• Lingual: The appearance of Lingual braces is the same as traditional metal braces. They are designed with brackets and wires. The only difference is that the braces are placed on the underside of teeth and yes, they are clear and also nearly invisible. Wearing Lingual braces takes a little more time to get used to because of their placement which affects talking and swallowing.
The key question that everyone asks after wearing braces is when do I remove my braces? When patients are fitted with braces, the Orthodontist will inform you about how long you will be required to wear them. Children and teens wearing braces will wear them for short periods because their oral environment continues to change. Adults who wear braces may have to wear braces for a longer time depending on the oral condition of their gums and teeth.
Given the age of older adults, your question will surface regarding when do I remove my braces? However, there will come a day when it is time to remove the braces. Removing braces does not mean that all your teeth construction solutions are over. Probably the next question to ask is what happens after the removal of my braces or what to expect after getting my braces off?
When braces are removed, the next step is called ‘retention’ which means that your Orthodontist will now fit you for a retainer. A retainer is the final phase of orthodontal braces treatment. Even after wearing braces for years, teeth can still shift back to their initial ill-fitting position. For this reason, retainers must be worn to help maintain the position of your new straightened teeth.
After braces, teeth are still very pliant because they are held in place with just thin ligaments which can cause teeth to move. To guide their movement, retainers are needed to train the fibers to stay in a certain position. Orthodontists generally would like to fit their patients with a retainer at the same time they remove braces.
The Orthodontist will likely ask their patients to wear them for 24 hours each day for a few months. Granted, there is an adjustment period, but it will not take as long as braces. Retainers are made out of really thin, translucent plastic that serves as a shield which is placed over the teeth to keep them from moving.
There are two types of retainers – fixed or removable:
• Fixed Retainer: A fixed retainer is placed at the rear of the teeth and is held in place with a thin wire. Only an Orthodontist should remove this type of retainer. This sounds uncomfortable, but it is not and getting used to its presence is easy. Patients can brush cautiously when wearing retainers.
• Removable Retainer: Removable retainers are the popular type of oral tool that gets lost the most often, especially with young people. Removable retainers are made of a thin clear plastic fitting shield. Removable retainers are custom-made and are not as uncomfortable as they sound. They get lost because they can be taken out of the mouth at night to sleep and removed when eating.
If patients still feel some discomfort even after braces are removed or when you are wearing your retainer, do not fret, your professional specialist will comfort your anxiety by ensuring you that your teeth are still settling into their new straightened position. Any slight twinge will not last long and it is a natural occurrence.
Additional changes that patients will experience after the removal of their braces are normal sensitivity to air, food, and smiling. After wearing braces for so long, it is only natural that your teeth and gums will be tender. It is suggested that you don’t immediately eat foods that can get stuck between your teeth or any food or sweets that are soft and chewy.
Another aspect of the removal of braces is that there may be some discoloration of the teeth that the Orthodontist could not immediately address. As much as patients would like the Orthodontist to immediately whiten their teeth, they must explain that the enamel is too weak to begin a whitening treatment.
Patients must wait for up to 2 months before a whitening solution can begin due to teeth sensitivity. To further answer the question of what happens after the removal of my braces or what to expect after getting my braces off is answered simply – a beautiful smile with straight, healthier, shiny teeth.
What Happens Immediately after Removal of Braces?
201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815
I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University and then received my Doctorate of Medical Dentistry at the University of Kentucky. After, I attended the University of Tennessee to complete my Master of Science in Orthodontics degree.
I consider every minute of continuing education to be vital for my patients and myself. Staying current with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies within my field allows me to improve treatment efficiency and provide higher quality results for each person I treat.