Freedom! What to Expect When Your Child Graduates From Braces

Freedom! What to Expect When Your Child Graduates From Braces

Ahhh freedom! Kids (teens and adults included) love getting their braces off. They can eat all foods again without worrying about damaging any brackets. Brushing and flossing is a bit easier too. It’s a great time! Here’s what you can expect during and after that happy appointment!

What happens at the removal of the braces: is there pain?

No, there’s no pain. Your child will feel some pressure but that’s it. Your orthodontist will use orthodontic pliers to release the brackets from the bonding cement. After releasing the brackets, your orthodontist will use a dental tool to carefully remove the leftover bonding paste that can feel a bit grainy and irritating to the gums when left behind. This polishes the teeth, too.

After the removal, your orthodontist will take a new digital impression of your child’s teeth for your child’s retainer or deliver a retainer if it has already been made.

Some tenderness, but such a beautiful smile!

“Some kids experience some sensitivity or tenderness in their teeth and gums after having their braces removed. We clean really close to the gum tissues when we remove the remaining glue off the teeth to make sure nothing is left that can irritate the gum tissues. So, some sensitivity is normal and this goes away after a day or two. Additionally, the teeth have not firmed up all the way when the braces are removed and eating may feel a little funny at first,” says Dr. AJ.

Your child may also notice calluses inside his/her lips. This was from accommodating the braces for years! These usually fade very fast after we remove everything.

The change in the teeth can be startling, especially after several years of seeing them covered in metal. People always feel like their teeth look much bigger than they remember. Most of all, though, our patients admire their new beautiful smile! Properly completed orthodontic treatment changes smiles, improves facial balance and structure, and changes lives!


Usually, kids’ teeth are white and shiny after removing braces. But some discoloration might remain even after the tooth polishing done during the removal of braces. We can either deal with it immediately or advise you to wait a month to avoid sensitivity issues from any whitening. We always stress that liquid sugars should NOT BE CONSUMED during orthodontic treatment as these are the number one cause of white spot stains on the teeth after the braces are removed.

Be careful

It’s normal for kids to want to eat everything they couldn’t eat while they had their braces, but that’s the worst thing to do after getting the braces off.

Take it easy. Avoid harsh bites of food as the teeth are still healing and the bone around the teeth will take some time to properly heal and strengthen. Keep up with the gentle brushing and flossing.

Teeth might shift

Your child might panic about his/her teeth moving. Even when patients are being diligent with wearing the retainer, some shifting can occur. Don’t worry, that’s only natural. This is the teeth settling into place without all the wires holding them! Additionally, we perform many retainer checks right after removal to keep a close eye on things. Of course, if retainer wear isn’t followed as the doctor ordered, teeth shifting beyond what we expect and desire can occur and may require re-treatment.

Lastly, CONGRATULATIONS! We are very proud of each and every successful orthodontic journey that we take with our patients.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates

Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options.  We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932