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How to Remove Braces, and Why You Should Not Try This At Home

Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen
Amanda Dexter
Amanda Dexter
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Are you wondering how to remove braces at home? Well, first of all, it's important to be aware that taking your own braces off is not recommended. Getting braces removed is a complex process that only a dental professional should do.

The only time you might need to know the process for removing braces is if you have an absolute emergency — and it's difficult to even imagine what kind of emergency that would be.

In this article, we're going to talk about the following:

  • The risks to your teeth and mouth of removing braces at home
  • The braces removal process
  • Alternatives to removing your own braces

Keep reading if you are interested in learning more about the dental braces removal process, whether it's to be prepared for when your orthodontist removes your braces, or so you are prepared in an emergency. But, first, let's discuss why you probably shouldn't try removing your braces at home.

What does it cost to remove braces?

In the UK it costs on average £200 to remove braces. We'll explain the process and if the costs are covered by the NHS in this article.

If for some reason, after your braces are removed, you're still not satisfied with your smile, we recommend having a look at Smile White Aligners. They have a whole range of benefits compared to traditional metal braces. In addition, you'll receive free whitening and retainers worth £790 to make your new smile complete.

Read more about switching to removable invisible aligners or learn more about these aligners in our Smile White Review.

Use code DENTALY5OFF to get 5% off your treatment.

Why your braces shouldn't be removed at home

how to remove braces
Your orthodontist should remove your braces

Removing braces from your teeth on your own is dangerous. It is possible to cause permanent damage to your teeth by applying too much pressure when you remove the brackets.

You may be successful in getting braces off, but it's very possible that you could experience side effects later on. This includes sensitive teeth, especially if you scratch off the enamel on your tooth's surface. You may even lose a tooth from applying too much pressure to remove your brackets, not to mention how painful that could be.

Some patients with braces also have a metal band around their molars, and this could be even more difficult to remove if you don't have the proper tools.

If you keep your braces on your teeth a bit longer than your original braces treatment time, either because you can't get to the orthodontist, or you don't have enough money to pay, make sure you stay up on your oral hygiene because the greatest risk is plaque buildup on your teeth around the brackets. Learn more about how to whiten teeth when wearing braces.

If you keep your braces on your teeth for an extended period after your treatment was supposed to end, then it's possible that your teeth will move in unintended ways.

how long does it take to get braces off
For safe removal, call your dentist

To avoid this, go back to your original orthodontist who helped you when getting your braces, and ask about your options for braces removal. If you're concerned about the cost of braces removal you can also look for a dental school, where you can receive low-cost but quality treatment.

How much does it cost to get braces removed in the UK?

The cost of the removal for the standard patient is included in the price of your braces, so you shouldn't have to pay anything extra. Separately, braces removal cost in the UK averages about £200.

How to remove your braces at home

We cannot emphasise enough that your orthodontist should be the one to remove your braces. They have all the tools needed to complete the process and can easily remove the adhesive without any damage. Your enamel is very fragile, but orthodontists are very experienced and knowledgeable so they know how to handle it!

They remove your braces using a special metal tool that loosens your brackets. An orthodontist can usually do this all at once, lowering the amount of discomfort that you feel. After that, they will give you a thorough dental cleaning.

Here's a video showing how an orthodontist takes off braces:

Finally, your orthodontist may also take an x-ray of your teeth. The entire process can take an hour or two, depending on what needs to be done.

And if you want to get your braces off early, chances are your orthodontist would much rather remove them for you — even if you haven't finished treatment — rather than you doing it by yourself.

Contact the orthodontist who put your braces on if you need to get your braces off. Whether it's the right time or not, and whether you can pay the full cost or not, chances are they'll take your brackets off before allowing you to do it yourself.

How do you remove braces glue from your teeth at home?

During the braces removal process, the orthodontist should handle most of the remaining glue for you. However, it's possible that some glue could get left behind.

Brush your teeth like normal, taking care to get all the adhesive spots. Then, carefully use a dental pick to slowly scrub off the leftover glue. Rinse with warm water, then brush again. This time, the rest of the adhesive should come off.

How long does it take to get braces off?

Your dentist or orthodontist can typically remove your braces in one appointment and it usually takes 1 – 2 hours. Your dentist will clip the braces brackets and use a polisher or scraper to remove the glue from your teeth.

does getting braces off hurt
Getting your braces removed may be uncomfortable but not painful

Does getting braces off hurt?

Getting your braces removed by a dental professional should not hurt. Although, dental procedures can be slightly uncomfortable at times so be prepared for some discomfort.

Once your braces have been removed your teeth and mouth may feel tender, this is because of the relief from the pressure that was being applied to your teeth. This should not last long and your mouth should feel better within a couple of days.

Emergency braces removal

We do not recommend that you remove your braces yourself, but if you are in an emergency that absolutely requires it, the process would go something like this:

  • Collect your materials: You will need a pair of small pliers, which you should sterilize in boiling water.
  • Use the pliers: Grab hold of the bracket with the pliers, then gently twist it to pop them off. Many people say it doesn't hurt to do this to their back teeth, but removing the bracket from the front teeth is very painful.
  • Brush your teeth: After the removal process, there is likely to be some adhesive left behind on your teeth. You don't need to scrub them forcefully, as you could damage a tooth, but brush them with gentle to medium pressure.
  • Visit the dentist: Schedule an appointment with a professional ASAP so they can check to make everything is OK and remove any remaining adhesive.


Don't remove your braces by yourself at home. Your orthodontist has special tools and training that ensure the process is safe.

If there is an emergency that requires you to remove your braces, mention it to your orthodontist, as they would much rather take your braces off for you than have you try it.

If you can't pay for an orthodontist appointment to get your braces off, try consulting the orthodontist who originally put them on for you. Another option is to look for a dental school that offers low-cost or free services.


Can I take braces off by myself?

Yes, although we do not recommend it as you could damage your teeth. Keep in mind that after your braces are removed, you'll typically need a dental cleaning from your dentist.

How can I get my braces off at home fast?

As mentioned, we do not recommend this, as your orthodontist should be the one removing your braces. However, if you have to take your braces off at home fast (in an emergency situation) you'll need small pliers to remove them. You then need to gently brush your teeth and schedule a visit to your dentist or orthodontist for a dental cleaning.

How long does it take to remove braces?

Your dentist or orthodontist should be able to fully remove your braces in under an hour. If you tried to remove them yourself it would likely take much longer. We don't recommend you try to remove braces yourself as it can lead to problems down the line.

Use “DENTALY5OFF” to get an additional 5% discount.

How to Remove Braces, and Why You Should Not Try This At Home
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Canadian Association of Orthodontists: “How to prepare for getting your braces removed.” Consulted May 23rd, 2022.