Your orthodontist always provides a window of time indicating how long they expect your orthodontic treatment to last – and they’re usually right about it. Some patients are pleasantly surprised to discover, though, that their estimated treatment is suddenly shortened by several months. How does this happen? And how can it be a reality for you or your child? Here are some of the factors that affect how long braces stay on teeth – and what might get braces off sooner than expected.
Every time a piece of hardware breaks, falls off, or requires a trip to the orthodontist for repair, treatment can be set back by several weeks. Each week your braces aren’t working properly, that’s another week you won’t be making progress in the alignment of your teeth. Your hardware won’t be compromised if you stay away from serious no-nos: stick foods, chewy foods, nail-biting, pen-chewing, and gum-chewing.
Keep a Healthy Mouth
It isn’t easy to brush and floss teeth when there are brackets and wires on them. Every effort to maintain good oral health, though, improves the chances of being a candidate who gets their braces off earlier than expected. Use a water pik for more thorough cleansing and to really get between teeth and gums. Add mouthwash to your cleansing routine. And always brush and floss at least twice a day for a healthy mouth.
Some orthodontic patients need bite adjustment along with teeth alignment. Around the halfway mark of treatment – though this will vary for each patient who needs bite repair – the patient will be given rubber bands to wear, pretty much around the clock. Though this task may seem tedious and annoying, it is important and its efficiency and success rely on the patient’s efforts. The more dedicated you are to wearing the elastics, the less time you need to wear them overall, and the better your chances to get braces off sooner.
Keep Things in Perspective
You might know someone whose braces journey lasted only 12 months, a pleasant surprise for them and the orthodontist after being told that the work would take 18 months or longer. You might know someone else who needs two to three years of treatment. Every mouth is different, but the bottom line is that braces need time to align your teeth, whether you’re wearing brackets or Invisalign.
Adjusting teeth too quickly or removing braces before full alignment has been reached can result in incorrect teeth positioning, tooth decay, and the need for repeat orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist isn’t going to remove your braces earlier than is healthy, but they also won’t make you endure treatment longer than necessary.
It Is Possible to Get Braces Off Sooner
Behave yourself through the months of braces care and do your best to follow the rules, and your chances of shortened orthodontic treatment just might improve. Find out what you or your child’s best estimate for conventional braces, Invisalign, or phase one orthodontics is from Dr. Soleil at Soleil Orthodontics in Woodinville, WA. Schedule a consultation today.