Life After Braces: 6 Things You Need to Know

Orthodontic braces are the primary solution to misalignment of the teeth or jaw. In general, it addresses issues like crookedness or abnormal bites by adjusting the position of the teeth gradually.

The entire treatment process usually takes about 18 months, which covers periodic visits to your dentist so they can check your braces in Fort Lauderdale.

The duration of the treatment will still depend on the severity of the misalignment, among other factors. In fact, it varies from one person to another. Some are lucky to cut that period short, while others may need an extension.

Whichever the case, your braces will still be removed at some point, regardless if it’s sooner or later. And when that time comes, you need to be ready. One way to prepare yourself mentally is by knowing the following six key things about life after braces:

1. The Removal: What to Expect

So, it’s time to remove your braces. When this moment finally arrives, you can expect a faster procedure than the process of attaching them. However, it will still require a significant amount of time to do correctly, as your orthodontist would need to detach individual bands and brackets one at a time.

Besides the duration of removal, you might also be wondering if the braces removal would hurt. You’ll be glad to know that, for the most part, it would be relatively painless. In fact, a lot of patients reported feeling relieved after the wires and bands have been removed.

You have to remember that removal may require a bit of force, though. This means that areas that are already sensitive may experience a bit of pain. This is just for a moment, of course.

Once the brackets come off, you might also hear cracking sounds. When this happens, don’t panic; it’s completely normal and doesn’t mean your teeth are broken. The cement used to attach the bracket to your tooth is simply cracking under the force of the removal.

Remember: Your teeth are tougher than the orthodontic cement so they won’t break that easily.

In relation to this, there may also be remnants of this cement left on your teeth, which means your orthodontist might need to do some scraping. This can make a bit of noise and come with a weird feeling.

2. Corrected Teeth Alignment

When your dentist decides to remove your braces, it means they are confident that the primary goal of orthodontic treatment has been achieved.

You might not feel or see your teeth moving to their ideal position during the treatment. But once the brackets have been removed, you’ll realize just how much your smile has improved.

Of course, this might also mean that your appearance would be different from before the orthodontic treatment, but it’s a good kind of different.

3. Calluses on the Insides of Your Lips

While the treatment may be successful, life without braces will take some getting used to. You may even find remnants of the experience in the form of calluses.

After the brackets are off, check the insides of your lips for calluses where once sensitive skin used to be. These develop quite quickly after you get your braces, but you won’t notice or even feel them immediately since they correspond to the location where the brackets are positioned.

Again, this is nothing to be concerned about as they will go away with time.

4. Tooth Sensitivity

Orthodontic treatment using braces means your mouth and teeth will be under tension constantly. This is how the adjustment is achieved.

However, one side effect of this treatment is that it can leave your teeth more sensitive than usual. After the braces are removed, the tension and the feeling of something attached to them will go away. This will make them feel more exposed.

This isn’t something to be worried about, of course. Many people experience this. You only need to postpone eating any chewy or crunchy foods that you’ve been asked to avoid during the orthodontic treatment.

5. Discolored Teeth

Even after taking proper care of your braces, you might still notice discoloration on the teeth once the orthodontic appliances have been removed. There might also be some calcification (calcium deposits) on your choppers, making it a bit challenging to keep your teeth white.

Although the calcification may not look normal, it actually indicates something good. The presence of calcium deposits only means that you have enough of this nutrient to keep your teeth healthy.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should bear with the discoloration and not do anything.

Some dentists recommend teeth whitening, but only after six months from the day the orthodontic appliances have been removed. Besides sensitivity, the teeth might feel a bit weaker after brace removal, so you must give yourself time to adjust before undergoing professional whitening.

There are other options available, too, including veneers in Fort Lauderdale. Remember to consult your dentist and listen to his recommendation on the different solutions that will work best for your specific situation.

6. Follow Up Checkup and Retainer

Orthodontic treatment doesn’t really end after the brackets, wires, and elastics have been removed. You will still need to return to your dentist at least one more time after the removal of your braces to ensure that everything is okay.

This is also the time when they’ll check whether your retainer fits properly and can achieve its purpose – to keep your teeth in their ideal position.

Retainers are a mandatory part of the treatment. Once the braces are detached, they keep your teeth in the position set by the braces. They also prevent the relapse of the malocclusion and crookedness of the teeth.

Depending on the treatment plan your orthodontist came up with, you may need to wear your retainers all day and all week. In some cases, you may need them while you’re sleeping. It varies on a case-to-case basis.

Most people need to wear retainers indefinitely. Otherwise, the teeth may shift back to their original position. In fact, when you miss even just a few nights of wearing them, you might already feel like they are a bit tight or out of place when you put your retainers back since the teeth already began moving out of alignment.

A Different But Better Smile

Orthodontic treatment is all about improving your smile. Of course, this means you’ll look quite differently before, during, and after the treatment. The bottom line is that the outcome is a better smile that is definitely worth the wait.