what to expect before and after braces - colgate in
Badge field

Adult Braces Before And After: What To Expect When They Come Off

Published date field Last Updated:
Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications


Getting braces as an adult is very common. The Seton Hill University Center for Orthodontics estimates that 20 to 25 percent of orthodontics patients are adults. The procedure for adult braces before and after is similar to that of children, but if you're new to it, here's what you can expect when your braces finally come off.

Braces Removal

According to Your Dentistry Guide, your orthodontist checks and tracks the position of your teeth with each visit, and will decide when your treatment is complete. Having braces removed is typically pain-free. You don't need to prep for the appointment in any special way. In fact, you'll probably love the reduction in pressure once the braces have been removed.

Retainers and Appliances

Your immediate impulse might be to take a photo so you can have that classic adult braces before and after shot, but you aren't done just yet. Don't forget to wear your retainer. Orthodontists usually fit you for a retainer to keep your teeth from moving after the braces come off. According to the Mayo Clinic, they can either be removable, or fixed in an unseen position in your mouth.

Each retainer is custom to the wearer, so it should fit pretty comfortably within your mouth. Caring for them is easy as well; simply brush them regularly with fluoride toothpaste as a natural part of your oral care routine.

Oral Rinsing

Rinsing with a fluoride solution can help prevent cavities by helping to fortify tooth enamel and strengthening teeth. Rinses are specially formulated with sodium fluoride, which help clean and strengthen the parts of your mouth in which braces may have trapped food and bacteria. Just add it to your regular oral care routine and rinse twice daily.

Tooth Whitening

It's only natural that you'd want white teeth to go with your newly straight smile. You can choose from two whitening processes: in office and at home. If you choose in-office whitening, you'll need to make an appointment with your dentist. In this whitening procedure, teeth are covered with a peroxide-based gel, which is placed on the surfaces of the teeth. The gum tissue is covered with a protective gel to protect it from the bleaching gel. A light is placed on the teeth which accelerates its whitening effect which includes three - 15 minute sessions that are conducted in just one dental visit.

If you prefer to whiten at home, choose a toothpaste that contains hydrogen peroxide, which can remove stains and lighten the color of your teeth. You can use a whitening toothpaste such as Colgate® Visible White® ; if used regularly, it will help give you a brighter smile.

Getting your braces off is definitely the most exciting part of the entire experience. By listening to your orthodontist's advice and following his instructions exactly, you can protect your investment and sport a perfect smile for life.