Do Orthodontists File Your Teeth After Braces?

If you have braces, will have braces soon, or are thinking about getting braces — you might have tons of questions. One common question we see is: do orthodontists file your teeth after braces? The truth is, this can vary between patients for a few reasons. Let’s delve into why. 

What is Tooth Filing?

Tooth filing can be used as a broad term that might include more than one procedure. The most common is a process also known as enameloplasty, or odontoplasty, which refers to the removal of a small layer of enamel on the teeth in order to reshape them, many orthodontists will refer to this procedure as “contouring.” It may be carried out as an elective cosmetic surgery, and it also may be included as part of a larger orthodontic set of treatments. Importantly, it is often carried out when patients have their braces removed. 

Additionally, your orthodontist may carry out a similar procedure that simply aims to remove any leftover cement, still adhered to your teeth, after your braces have been removed. While both processes might be called tooth filing, it’s important to take note of their distinctions; enameloplasty is primarily aimed at shaping your tooth itself, while cement removal simply aims to eliminate any leftover cement after your braces are removed. 

Will My Orthodontist File My Teeth After the Braces Come Off?

do orthodontists file your teeth after braces

So, do they file your teeth after braces? If you opt for it, they likely will. Whether it’s required, however, or if your orthodontist recommends this treatment, is another story entirely. Whether your orthodontist recommends enameloplasty or if you seek this treatment might depend on the position of your teeth, how thick your enamel is, and your cosmetic goals. 

Enameloplasty might be used to further optimize your teeth’s positioning after braces, and it also may be used to address cosmetic issues that you’re concerned about. It may be used to aid you in caring for your teeth, making them easier to brush or floss after you get your braces off. 

However, it’s important to note that this procedure may not be for everyone. Those who have weakened or damaged enamel, for example, may be better off preserving their enamel. Individuals with sensitive teeth may also be wary of enameloplasty, as further thinning their enamel could exacerbate sensitivity

Is Enameloplasty Included with Braces?

This part depends on your orthodontist, but enameloplasty is often included with braces. As this is considered a part of a larger set of treatments for tooth alignment, it may be one of your final steps after getting your braces off. However, even if your orthodontist doesn’t include enameloplasty as part of your braces treatment, it may be an optional treatment you can inquire about. 

Reach Out Today

If you’ve been thinking about correcting your teeth’s alignment, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. At Peterson Family Orthodontics, we offer a wide range of treatment options designed to suit your specific orthodontic needs — including both braces and Invisalign®. Whether you’re interested in learning more about how treatments work — including teeth filing after braces — or ready to get started, give us a call or reach out online today.