Braces Removal Stories

when the braces finally come off

Amy's Story

This has been my second time around with braces. The first time I had them for 4.5 years. Back in the 1980s, you were only instructed to wear your retainer for one year and that was all that was necessary. I distinctly remember the lecture about settling and teeth donít move that much once youíre an adult. Bad advice. I got braces this time to correct spaces that had opened up in about 6-7 places and a severely rotated tooth in the lower bottom front. 

I was excited when I was told it would only take 6 months to correct. I should have known that estimate was too good to be true. In the 16 months Iíve had braces, Iíve had three different sets of debanding appointments all to be cancelled because my orthodontist wanted to continue the fine tuning stage. 

This time around, I was destined to have them removed. I remember as a kid having my braces removed was a painful and long process. As an adult, I was convinced the removal would be better. After all, I had brackets and only a few bands. I was wrong. I told the assistant I wanted to keep my braces. She laughed and said no one ever made that request before. 

They kept all the ligatures on, clipped the wires from the back molars and went to work. Iíve heard people describe the removal process as gentle rocking and that ceramic braces ďpoppedĒ off. Personally, I felt like my teeth were getting ripped out with pliers. The bands were worse. They wouldnít give and my ortho kept slipping and hitting other teeth. 

Once they were off I thought the worst part was behind me. It wasnít. I had a series of lingual buttons on my lower teeth. They used a special bonding agent because they kept popping off. I actually suggested they stay on because they were so difficult to come off. 

Once they were off, I thought for sure the worst part was behind me. Nope. The grinding, sanding, chipping, scraping, and every other torture drill came out to remove the cement. I had just about had it and couldnít take it anymore. When I was asked if my teeth felt smooth, I lied and said yes. I knew my regular dentist would give me a topical anesthetic and remove any remaining cement. My ortho doesnít offer any kind of pain relief. 

I was given a bag of sticky/hard candy and gum and a bottle of champagne. I wished I had that bottle about 3 hours earlier. I was made two plastic Essix retainers on the spot and have a follow up appointment in 4 weeks. Iíll then have another set of molds for a traditional top, a permanent lower retainer and a new bottom clear retainer. The whole process took close to 2 1/2 hours. In short, getting braces put on is a breeze and getting them off is far from it.

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