Taking braces off is not a big deal. Neither is putting them on. With some focus, practice and intention, you and your team can do either of these procedures well south of the 30-minute mark. Seriously. It’s not that hard even though we, as a profession, have made it a big deal. I bring this up only to point out that we need to do a much better job of handling weddings, vacations, graduations, engagements, senior photos and other momentous events when it comes to patients in orthodontic treatment. Of course if your patient is in Invisalign there is no issue but if someone is in braces we need to accommodate them. Take the braces off for the event and then put them back on after.

For no charge.

Why wouldn’t you? By doing so you can create raving fans AND you get another shot at “ideal” bracket placement now that the teeth are leveled and aligned. The patient is happier and your case finishes better and likely faster.

You’ve got time – I’m betting you’re not at capacity because so few of us are. Moreover, you’ve got lots of time in the middle of the day if you’re anything like most orthodontists with schedule control issues. Brackets are cheap – or at least they should be. So what’s stopping you from accommodating your patient?


Because “we don’t do it that way here”?





If you’re like I was, you don’t do it the way you do it because that’s what we were taught in school by our crusty old professors. “Our time is valuable! Patients should pay if they want additional services! Wanting braces off for senior pictures or a wedding is ridiculous!”, I can still hear them saying. That advice was bad when they told us and it’s terrible in this day and age but we are creatures of habit who blindly adhere to “the way things are” and what those in authority told us. It took me a long time to realize that just because a professor said it is so doesn’t mean it is. Now that you’re aware, get out there and make some patients happy to the benefit of your practice. Few things that cost so little can do so much to grow your business.

5 thoughts on “Take The Braces Off… Then Put Them Back On!

  1. Our Doctor does this and I agree it’s a great marketing tool. We are presently doing this for prom and graduation. Some patients do not care and embrace their braces for these moments but for others we happily give them their wish!

  2. This is a great post and often thought about doing this but haven’t done it. Instead our office has been charging a debond/bond fee for special events. What about retainers? Do you find they need them or do you just allow a little tooth movement?

  3. During my orthodontic training, I refused to take off the braces for his wedding. Every time I remember this incident, I feel very ashamed of myself.

  4. I don’t do retainers. I like the settling effect that seems to improve the case long term.

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