What To Expect When You Get Your Braces Off

Getting your braces removed is a big day to look forward to! Kottemann Orthodontics is dedicated to educating our patients on the importance of understanding each step so they feel involved in the process. Read on to learn more about what to expect when you get your braces off, the importance of wearing your retainer, how to care for your newly aligned teeth, and more!


Revealing Your Perfectly Aligned Smile

On the long-awaited day of your braces removal appointment, we begin the procedure by clipping off your archwire and removing any additional components attached to your appliance, such as elastics and orthodontic bands. 

The next step is removing your brackets. These components were attached with orthodontic glue that may have felt impossible to budge during treatment, but our team uses special pliers for this exact purpose. This step usually takes the longest as we take our time carefully detaching each one from your teeth to avoid causing any pain. 

We complete the procedure by smoothing any glue residue left on your teeth with a high-speed drill. Our team of orthodontists understands some patients have a negative association with drills and dental work and may fear it will cause pain. However, we assure you we go no further than the surface, and you may feel slight pressure at most.

Just like that, your appliance is completely removed! On the day of your appointment, we will go over the procedure in more detail so you will know exactly what to expect before we begin any work. You can expect it to take no longer than an hour. 


Will You Feel Any Pain?

After removing your braces, your teeth will likely be sore for a few days. For over a year, they have adjusted to constant slight pressure, so they will need time to settle into place and get used to their new position. 

The procedure itself, though, is painless! As mentioned, you may feel slight discomfort, but none of our tools will cause aches. Whether Dr. Bill, Dr. Kraig, Dr. Scott, or Dr. Alisha are working on your teeth, they will be checking in on you throughout the process to ensure you feel comfortable or if you need to take a break at any point. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you feel more at ease!


Adjusting To Life After Braces


Cleaning your entire teeth’ surface with areas covered by brackets was impossible. As a result, you may see spotty yellow discoloration in certain areas. This will naturally disappear, but you can support the process with regular oral hygiene upkeep. If you still notice patchy areas, ask any of our expert orthodontists how long to wait until considering teeth whitening after treatment. 

Getting Used To Eating 

For over a year, you have been eating a soft-food diet. We recommend slowly transitioning back to crunchy and hard foods to allow your teeth to get used to the sensation again. They may also feel tender right after removing your appliance, so take as much time as you need.


You may have had calluses on your hands or feet before, but did you know they can also appear inside your mouth? These small, hardened areas of skin are caused by constant friction with your appliance. Don’t worry; they are completely normal and will disappear on their own, but if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us.


What To Expect When You Get Your Braces Off

Prioritize Wearing Your Retainer

To help maintain the position of your teeth long-term, Kottemann Orthodontics provides each patient with a set of retainers. Retainers are custom-made appliances crafted to fit the exact alignment of your teeth and keep them from shifting back. 

While everyone’s retainer-wearing schedule is unique, our team typically recommends wearing retainers for three to six months after removing your braces. After this period of time, only wearing your retainer at night is necessary to keep your teeth in place. However, no harm is done if you accidentally leave it on longer than prescribed.

What Types Are There?

Fixed: Comprised of a thin, curved wire, this permanent appliance is bonded to the back of your front four to six teeth to prevent relapse into their original position.

Removable: A permanent appliance in the shape of a thin, curved wire glued flush to the back of your front four to six teeth to help them retain their position.


Caring For Your New Smile

Managing Pain Relief

As mentioned, your teeth will need to adjust to their new position without the braces, which may cause some discomfort in the first week after they are removed. This will go away on its own, but to make the transition easier, there are some things you can do to ease any pain.

Swish with warm salt water to eliminate harmful bacteria in your mouth and soothe tenderness around your teeth or gums. You can also ask Dr. Bill, Dr. Kraig, Dr. Scott, or Dr. Alisha about over-the-counter painkillers they recommend based on your symptoms.

Staying Hydrated 

Water will become your new best friend! Water has many beneficial properties, including fluoride, which can be found in toothpaste and mouthwash. It works to prevent tooth decay and strengthen your enamel. A glass after each meal also helps flush away lingering plaque or small particles of food left behind.  

Oral Hygiene

The cornerstone of dental health is maintaining an oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily does wonders to prolong their effectiveness and remove signs of plaque and bacteria. You can also rinse with mouthwash, but remember to use it to supplement your routine, not replace it.


What To Expect When You Get Your Braces Off

Embrace Your New Smile!

Everyone at Kottemann Orthodontics supports you each step of the way during your teeth-straightening journey! You can rely on us from the day of your consultation to over a year after your braces come off. Our offices are local to Chaska, Maple Grove, Orono, and Plymouth and serve the surrounding communities. Schedule your free consultation with us today and get started on treatment!