Congratulations! The day has finally arrived and it is time to get your braces off. After what felt like forever, you are finally ready to head to the orthodontist, climb into the chair, and have your braces removed, or “debonding” as we call it. Are you excited yet? Now that your braces are about to come off, are you wondering what to expect after braces? Besides wanting to grab some gum, hard candies, popcorn, and all the other things you were not supposed to eat when you had braces, your orthodontist will also speak with you about life and oral care after braces.
The First Days: What to Expect After Braces
Your first few days after you get your braces off your cheeks may feel sore. Why? Because you will smile so much showing off your beautifully straight teeth. They really will be sore and you will also experience tender teeth because the removal process is a lot like getting braces on. Your orthodontist will need to use some pressure and tools to remove the wire and brackets. This pain is temporary and should subside in a few days.
While your teeth are now nice and straight, they might be slightly discolored. It wasn’t easy to clean around your braces. You may also notice some calcification. Luckily, this is something your orthodontist or dentist can take care of with a great cleaning.
You may also notice you talk funny. A lot of people develop a temporary lisp or speech impediment. Why? Because your lips and tongue are trying to get used to the new shape of your mouth. Don’t worry, you will adjust back to normal in no time.
Eating After Braces
In a perfect world, you would be eating popcorn while chewing gum and eating hard candies the second your braces come off. But, you should hold off for a week or two. Your teeth will be very sensitive, especially to extreme temperatures. You will also want to take it easy on crunchy things too. It is best to avoid these types of foods until you had time to heal.
After Braces Oral Care
You will want to take good care of your new, pretty, straight teeth. Just like you took extra steps to care for your teeth with the braces on, you will still want to practice great oral hygiene. Regular visits to your dentist along with daily flossing and brushing are very important.
Of course one of the most important things you need to do is wear your retainer. In fact, your teeth are at the biggest risk of shifting in the first months’ post braces which is why you should take your orthodontist’s request seriously. Without it, you are at a big risk of your teeth shifting. Don’t make all of that hard work over the past year or longer be for nothing.
Visiting your orthodontist for follow-ups will be a case by case basis. Genuinely, you will need to schedule a 6-8 month evaluation to make sure there are no major changes. The tissue that surrounds your teeth and helps keep them in place take up to 7 months to properly heal. If all is well, you may not need another appointment for a year unless you need retainer adjustment or notice some issues.
If you need your braces removed or have questions about what to expect after braces or your post braces care, contact us or your local orthodontist to schedule an appointment. We have six Chicago orthodontics offices and eight in the suburbs!