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What happens after invisalign or braces treatment?

Are you about to get your braces or Invisalign off and wondering what the next steps are? Are you nervous about getting your braces or Invisalign removed? 

I’m Dr. Nate, and I’ll walk you through the process of what happens when you are completed your orthodontic treatment.

Braces or invisalign attachment removal

If you were in braces when you came in for your debond appointment, we will all of your braces. This is a rapid and painless process. The noises the brackets make when they are removed are more nerve-racking than the pain it causes.

After your brackets are removed, we remove the composite (glue) that was holding your braces in place. This is also a very easy process that involves your orthodontist using a high-speed handpiece and a bur. There is no numbing involved. 

Often your orthodontist will smooth out the rough edges of your teeth to ensure you get the best result possible. 

If you have Invisalign, the process is similar. We remove your attachments with a high-speed handpiece, and it is even easier than braces removal.

Pictures after orthodontic treatment

Your orthodontist and orthodontic assistant will take the same photographs and radiographs that were taken when you first started your orthodontic treatment. 

These records are taken so you can see your before and after results. The photographs also allow your orthodontist to verify that your treatment proceeded as planned. 

Impressions for retainers

Retainer wear is vital to the long-term success of your smile. We typically take alginate impressions so we can pour up a cast to make your retainers. 

The impression material solidifies in roughly 30 seconds and is very accurate. The dental assistant will take those impressions to make your clear retainers.

We like to have your retainers completed within a day or two to prevent any shifting from occurring. If you go too long without a retainer, your teeth can shift to where they were before orthodontic treatment. 

What are the different types of retainers?

At our office, we prefer the clear Invisalign style of retainers. Clear aligners offer the best retention and long-term stability of your teeth.

You can also ask for a permanent retainer on your bottom teeth or a more traditional Hawley or metal-type retainer. 

How often should I wear my retainers?

It’s important to note that retainer wear is a lifelong commitment. You will wear your retainers all day for three months, at which time you will transition to nighttime. 

You will wear your retainers every night for two years and then transition to 2-3 nights a week forever.

If you ever lose or break your retainer, come in immediately for a new set. 

How to care for your retainers?

If you properly maintain your retainers, they can last many years. I had the same retainers for over a decade.

You should wash your retainers with warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly afterward.

If your retainers have a lot of build-up, you can also use products such as retainer brite to dissolve the tarter and make them look new.


Removing your braces or Invisalign is a quick and easy process. Remember that to maintain the smile you have worked so hard for, it’s important to wear your retainers for life.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us [email protected]

Thank you

Dr. Nathan Coughlin

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