We’ve helped hundreds of patients realign their teeth at Dr. Cynthia Wong’s Orland Park orthodontic practice. Although proper alignment requires lifelong maintenance, the removal of permanent braces is a significant step. Because we believe procedures go better when the patient is informed, we want them to know how braces removal works.
Specialized reverse-action pliers are indispensable to braces treatment, and that’s just as true when they’re coming off. Brackets are held on by dental cement that pulls away if the brackets change shape. We use narrow-tipped pliers to compress the brackets, allowing us to lift them off. This process shouldn’t be painful to the patient, although they may feel some pressure. We also use pliers with broader tips to leverage off the bands surrounding molars. The cement will be allowed to remain on until all the brackets have been removed to ensure the teeth are protected. It will then be scraped away.
The teeth will likely be sensitive immediately after the removal of the cement, but this should clear up quickly as long as they were well cared for. It is advisable for patients to give the enamel a little time to remineralize instead of immediately returning to acidic or sticky foods. We’ll also make a new impression of the patient’s mouth to use as the basis for a retainer. Remember, there may come a time when a patient will no longer have to wear a retainer during the day, but night use of the retainer for life is the only way to ensure the teeth will not shift again.