Just to spare you any more suspense the answer to the question “does getting braces off hurt?” is no. Getting braces off does not hurt. In fact, compared to other parts of orthodontic treatment like active treatment and adjustments, getting braces off is relatively painless.
Step one: Bracket removal
There are really just two steps to getting braces off—none of them are terribly painful. The first step is to get the bands and brackets off of the teeth. This is probably the most uncomfortable part of getting braces off because a tool is used to pop the brackets off of the teeth. There is pressure and popping noise when each bracket is removed, but they should snap off rather easily. For the bands, a band remover is used to slide the band off from around the tooth.
Step two: Dental cement removal
While the bracket will come cleanly off of the tooth, there will be some dental cement left stuck to each tooth. Most often this will be smoothed away and polished to remove it. A tool much like a small buffer is used to wear away the residual dental cement and polish the tooth (this may be two separate tools). Getting braces off is actually quite quick, especially compared to getting braces on. Once the brackets, bands and cement are removed, the active phase of treatment is over and the retention phase of orthodontic treatment begins.