How Do Orthodontists Take Braces Off?


Many kids look forward to the day that their braces will be coming off but as the countdown draws closer, their anticipation may turn to worry if they are unaware of how the mission is accomplished. Visions of yanking and pulling may come to mind, along with an imaginary sensation of a lot of pain. But once the experience is over, many kids wonder what all of the fuss was about.

The Pliers

The pliers that an orthodontist uses may look scary, but they are actually a necessary part of the procedure. The pliers are used to snip the small bracket that wraps around the tooth and fastens the brace. Each snip is quick and painless and the bracket and brace usually comes off in one fell swoop.

Braces With No Brackets

Some braces will be attached to the teeth with cement instead of a bracket. The removal of these braces will entail the use of the pliers as well. However, instead of snipping the orthodontist will squeeze. Each individual brace will be squeezed until it separates from the tooth. Although this procedure may sound a bit frightening, it is actually quite painless.


Once all of the metal is removed, any remaining glue or cement will need to be scraped off so that the pearly enamel can shine through. The orthodontist will employ a device that looks a bit like pliers but is actually much softer on the teeth. The hand tool will not only help to remove all of the glue in under 10 minutes, but also shine the teeth as it works its magic.

The Photo Op

When all of the hardware is removed and the glue is scraped away, the orthodontist will often want to take photos of his latest masterpiece. The photos will usually serve as an evaluation tool that will help the orthodontist determine how successful the entire treatment process was. Pictures of before and after are often compared along with additional X-rays that can provide insight into any future dental work that may need to be done.

The Retainer

The orthodontist may recommend that the patient wear a retainer for a specified amount of time to hold the newly aligned teeth in place. An impression may be taken at the time that the braces are removed or some time before, that will serve as a template for the laboratory that is designing the retainer. The retainer will be ready to wear in a few days or the day of the brace removal procedure. It is important that the retainer is worn as often as recommended to avoid needing brace treatment again in the future.

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