Posted on March 11, 2021
One in every five Americans has a less than ideal bite. In fact, bite issues are the second most common reason for orthodontic treatment, besides aesthetics. Straightening teeth is a life-changing process, providing a brighter smile, proper oral hygiene, and a self-confidence boost.
While adult braces are a perfect solution to malocclusions, the treatment period remains an area of angst among most patients. On average, your orthodontic treatment may last between 18 and 24 months for traditional braces. For some, the period may be as short as six months while others may have to undergo orthodontic treatment for over three years.
While there are no magic fixes that can move your teeth faster, here are five things that you can do to help you get off your braces sooner.
Your orthodontist may supply a list of foods that you may have to avoid during the treatment period. Typically, it’s recommended that you stay clear of hard, chewy, sticky, or crunchy foods. Hard and crunchy snacks such as nuts and chips can place excess pressure on the braces, bending the wires. Sticky and chewy foods may lodge between the teeth and the brackets, which can lead to tooth damage if not properly cleaned. Always remember that any food with the ability to tamper with your braces is only going to prolong the treatment period. Follow your orthodontist’s instructions on what to eat or drink.
Your rubber bands can feel uncomfortable, especially during the night. It can be tempting to play with them or even take them off. However, doing so will only prolong your orthodontic treatment. Keep the elastics on as long as you can, removing them only when eating.
Scheduling visits to your orthodontist throughout your treatment period is expected. These meetings allow the orthodontists to track your progress. The specialists can readjust the brackets and wires on your metal braces or offer the next set of aligners for Invisalign patients. Missing your appointments can set you weeks or months back on your orthodontic treatment.
Proper dental hygiene is paramount, whether on braces or not. However, it may become harder to clean your teeth with metal wires running across the mouth. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing at least once daily. If you find yourself not in a position to brush, rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash. Good oral hygiene prevents periodontitis, tooth decay, and discoloration that negates the gains you make through orthodontic treatment.
Advances in technology within the orthodontic world continue to give rise to new procedures that guarantee shorter treatment spans. Some of the treatments can accelerate teeth correction, including spacing and realignment. You can research the various option available and bring them up when you meet your orthodontist. The specialists can then advise if the accelerated programs are a good fit for your case.
Orthodontic treatment is a vital process that can give you straight teeth and a beautiful smile. If you wish to learn more about caring for your braces, reach out to Orthodontics LA.