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

Natalie Asmussen
Contributor:
Natalie Asmussen
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Karen Kemp-Prosterman
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Are you wondering how to remove braces at home? You should never take your braces brackets off at home. Getting braces off is a complex process that only an orthodontics dental provider 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:

If you have an emergency and need immediate advice from a dentist, you can do a virtual consultation using Denteractive's online dentist service.

online dentist booking

Why you should not remove braces at home

Taking braces off at home on your own is dangerous. You can cause permanent damage to your teeth by applying too much pressure, and you could even lose a tooth entirely. Not to mention the pain you are bound to experience.

how to remove braces
Your orthodontist should remove your braces

Even though you may be successful in removing your braces, you could experience side effects later on. This could include sensitive teeth, especially if you scratch off the enamel on your tooth's surface when trying to remove the brackets from your teeth.

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 is supposed to end, then it's possible that your teeth will move in unintended ways.

braces removal
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. You can also look for a dental school, where you can receive low-cost but quality treatment.

How much does it cost to remove braces?

The cost of removing braces for the standard patient is included in the price of your braces, so you shouldn't have to pay anything extra. Separately, it could cost between $60 and $250.

How to remove your braces

We cannot emphasize enough: your orthodontist should be the one to take off your braces. They have all the tools needed to complete the process and can easily remove the adhesive or “braces glue” without any damage. Your enamel is very fragile, but they know how to maintain 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:

Braces off. Step by step orthodontic removal In this video it's shown step by step how to remove braces to finish an orthodontic treatment. After the braces are removed, a dental cleaning is usually needed. In this patient some aesthetic treatment with restorations in some teeth will be also needed and planned. #bracesoff #orthodontics #braces Subscribe to our Youtube channel 👉 http://bit.ly/suscribeteCP MORE 3D VIDEOS in English 👉 http://j.mp/dentistry3D Follow us also on: 👍 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/clinicapardinas 👍 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clinicapardinas 👍 Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClinicaPardinas 👍 Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/clinica-pardinas 👍 Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@clinicapardinas/ 👍 Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.es/clinicapardinas/

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 take 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 at home.

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?

During the braces removal procedure, the orthodontist should handle getting most of the braces glue off your teeth. However, it's possible that some dental glue could get left behind.

Braces glue is a specialized adhesive that is similar to the material used to make white composite fillings. Because it is designed to withstand heat and pressure, rinsing with warm water and picking at it will not remove all of the adhesives, even if you are successful in removing some.

If you still have residue from the bracket adhesive, you should see your orthodontist or general dentist, as both are equipped with the appropriate dental handpiece and burs to completely remove the remaining material without causing any hardening of your tooth.

How long does it take to remove braces?

how to take off braces at home
See a dental professional to remove your braces

Your dentist or orthodontist can typically remove your braces in one appointment and it usually takes less than an hour. Your dentist will clip the braces brackets and use a polisher or scraper to remove the braces glue from your teeth.

Emergency braces removal

We do not recommend that you remove your braces at home, 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.
  • Brush your teeth: Next, you should gently brush your teeth. After the removal process, there is likely a lot of braces glue left behind on your teeth. You don't need to scrub them forcefully, as you could damage a tooth.
  • Visit the dentist: Schedule an appointment with a professional ASAP so they can check to make sure everything is OK and remove any remaining adhesive. If you need to have your braces removed immediately, patients are advised to schedule appointments with either orthodontic or general dentist providers. For patients in hospital settings needing an MRI for example, most emergency rooms have dental providers on staff that will facilitate removal of the brackets.

Before trying any of this, why not chat with a dentist online for free using Denteractive? They will offer you the best advice on how to remove your braces.

online dentist booking

Conclusion

Don't remove your braces 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 at home. Most orthodontists have stipulations in their treatment contracts of discontinuing care or referring patients who engage in willful removal of or interfere with dental treatment; this could include removing braces at home.

This also includes non-compliance with appointments for necessary dental follow-ups. Non-compliant behavior delaying or interrupting dental treatment may impact their insurers continued coverage of their care.

If you can't pay for an orthodontist appointment to take your braces off, try consulting the orthodontist who originally put them on for you, or look for a dental school that offers low-cost or free services. Removing braces at home should be your last resort.

FAQs

Can I take braces off by myself?

Yes, it is possible to take braces off at home, although we do not recommend it. 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 to Remove Braces, and Why You Should Not Try This At Home
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Sources

Oral Health Foundation: “Always see a trained professional.” Consulted May 26th, 2022.