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Dentistry/Removing braces



We are considering switching to a different orthodontist for our son (too many reasons to list).  We are taking various factors into account in order to help us make our decision. One factor is this:-

We are worried that having braces removed then refitted may be traumatic for the teeth.  Each tine braces are removed and fitted, does it cause more and more enamel to be lost through (a) the force of prying the existing braces off? and (b) the abrasion that is used to 'clean' the tooth surface prior to application of braces?

Also wondering if the process of debanding is very uncomfortable.

Thanks for your help.

ANSWER: The method and care used in removing the braces will determine the extent of damage to the enamel. When properly and carefully done there should be negligible effect on the integrity of the teeth.  While some individuals report momentary, mild discomfort during the process, most do not.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you Dr Myerson

Can I just clarify with you...when you say neglibible, do you ALSO mean that the abrasion used before fitting the braces is ALSO neglibible in its effect on enamel (not just he debanding)? If we switch orthodontist his existing braces would be removed and then new braces fitted all over again, so we're concerned about that part of it too.

Yours grafetfully,
Micahel S.

That is correct. The abrasion used to clean the teeth before applying the bands and brackets is also minimal and negligible. Sometimes, however, the original braces don't have to be removed and the new orthodontist can continue with the same appliance. Other times it is necessary to remove the old braces and apply new ones.


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Dr. Randolph Myerson


Please limit your inquiry to questions about orthodontics (braces) and children's dentistry. I am both an Orthodontist and a Pediatric Dentist, having been trained in both of these dental specialty fields. Orthodontics is the dental specialty that treats problems of tooth, bite and jaw alignment using braces and removable appliances. Pediatric Dentistry is the dental specialty also known as dentistry for children, which deals specifically with the dental problems of this special age group from infants to adolescents. I am also experienced in Forensic Dentistry, the application of dentistry to law enforcement and identification using dental records.


I have been in the private practice of orthodontics and pediatric dentistry for over 20 years. Prior to that I served for three years on the Cleft Palate and Cranio-facial Reconstruction team at Children''s Hospital of Philadelphia and was an Assistant Professor of Dentistry at University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. I also served as a dentist in the U.S.Air Force, stationed at Andrews AFB in Washington, DC.

I am a Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and a member of the American Association of Orthodontics, as well as a member of the American Dental Association and the Dental Society of the State of New York.

I received my BA in Biology from Frankin & Marshall College in 1969, and my dental degree from University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1973. In 1978 I received both my Certificate in Orthodontics from University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and my Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from Children''s Hospital of Philadelphia after completing a three year Teaching Fellowship in Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in 1978.

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