6 Things to Expect When Your Braces Come Off

life after braces lawrenceville orthodontics

Many orthodontic patients expect total freedom and normalcy when their braces come off, but there are side effects of braces removal that may be unexpected. It could take some time to adjust to these changes, but just remember that you now have straight teeth, free from braces. That’s a good thing, and you can tolerate whatever else your teeth throw at you.

1. Callused Lips

Calluses… on your lips? Well, the inside of your lips. Remember when you first got your brackets and they poked the soft tissues of your mouth? Your lips adapted by developing a protective layer to avoid cuts or scrapes to your mouth’s sensitive tissues. Once the calluses form, you don’t feel them again – until your braces come off. Don’t worry though, this odd feeling will disappear within a few months.

2. Weird Eating

Whether you did it intentionally or not, you’ve made accommodations where eating and your braces are concerned. You’ve tried not to damage the hardware, or snuck in an unsanctioned snack. But now, without braces, you eat whatever and whenever you want – and it feels weird. Chomping into an apple, tossing back a handful of popcorn, chewing a piece of gum. It’s all unfamiliar, and you may even find that your tastes have changed.

3. Tender Teeth

Your teeth were just freed from the devices that pushed them around forcefully for many months. Don’t be surprised if everything feels tender or sensitive. Plus, your orthodontist may need to use a little muscle to remove the bracket glue from your tooth enamel. Any discomfort will fade quickly.

4. Discolored Enamel

Even if you have done an amazing job of cleaning your teeth all through your orthodontic treatment, you may notice calcification spots and discoloration on your new straight smile. Now that the brackets are a thing of the past, you’ll need to take a little time to spruce up your tooth enamel, and this might require a professional teeth cleaning, diligent at-home oral hygiene, or a pro teeth whitening.

5. You Look Different

Believe it or not, you’re used to seeing yourself with braces in the mirror and in photos. Suddenly seeing yourself free of that accessory can be jarring. Most patients are stunned that those teeth firmly rooted in their mouth belong to them – forever. An aligned smile changes people. You look happier, healthier, smarter, you may even look older. One thing is certain, you will smile a lot more than you ever did before.

6. Your Retainer Isn’t So Bad

Many orthodontic patients lament that after months and perhaps even years of treatment they still must wear a retainer when their braces come off. Then, after a few days of complaining, they forget what made them cranky. They realize the very thin aligner they have been instructed to place onto their top teeth every night is hardly an interruption. It’s unnoticeable and doesn’t interfere with how they look or speak. Retainers do important work, and they don’t really get in the way of your life.

Learn more about the braces journey by scheduling a consultation with Lawrenceville Orthodontists.