Want “Someday” to get here as quickly as possible?
One of the first questions a patient will ask their orthodontist during the first visit is, “How long will my treatment last?”
Each mouth is unique, so treatment time will naturally depend on your individual, “specific-to-you situation. Some people require less than a year, while others will be involved in treatment for 3 years or longer.
Initially, most people are eager to begin treatment so that they can have the smile they’ve always wanted as quickly as possible. We don’t think anyone intentionally prolongs the duration of their treatment, but there are, however, a number of things along the way that can complicate and lengthen your time in braces.
Although these following tips may not speed up your time in treatment, they will certainly help to ensure that it will not go slower than predicted or result in additional treatment fees.
Limiting your sugar intake and eating proper foods, while avoiding others is critical during your treatment. Some people wear single aligning trays that are made of a plastic composite material, while others use the traditional system involving a number of brackets, wires, elastics and bands. These components are fragile and can break easily if not cared for properly. The biggest culprit involved in broken or bent ortho gear is food. When it comes to the foods that you should avoid during treatment, it’s just a matter of using common sense and avoiding those foods that could break, stick to, or otherwise, interfere with your orthodontic work. treatment. Hard, chewy, crunchy, and sticky foods should be avoided during treatment time especially:
- Fruit roll ups and fruit snacks
- Sticky or chewy bars, caramel, chocolate, taffy, peanut brittle, etc
- Pretzels and chips
- Taco shells
- Hard Cookies
- Pizza crust
- Chewing Gum
- Hard rolls
- Beef jerky
- Chicken wings and drumsticks
- Corn on the cob
Some foods can be modified so that they are easier on your bracework. Try cutting them into smaller pieces, softening them in a beverage or cooking them before eating. We know that avoiding the above foods is a tall order, but trust us, your new smile will be worth it.
Most drinks that we advise you to avoid during ortho treatment are unhealthy for your teeth with or without braces. Drinks that are highly acidic and sugary drinks like soda pop, sports drinks, flavoured milk drinks, sugar-sweetened coffee/tea and fruit juices work to weaken and dissolve tooth enamel and eventually result in tooth decay. How often you consume these types of drinks is the most important factor. An occasional beverage can be tolerated, but allowing the sugars and acids to come in contact with your teeth often and for long periods of time (as in sipping the drink slowly or throughout the day) is a recipe for disaster for any teeth, especially during orthodontic treatment. If you must have a drink of this sort now and again, just remember to drink through a straw and rinse with water afterwards. Wait 20-30 minutes to then brush your teeth.
You will have adjustment appointments scheduled with your orthodontic office at periodic intervals. Missing even just one of these appointments will delay your treatment time, so make sure that your attend every one that is booked for you. Your appointment will be made well ahead of time, so putting the information into your calendar, planner or phone and scheduling all other things around this reserved time will go a long way in helping you keep plan ahead.
Bacteria like to accumulate in and around all the nooks and crannies along your tooth’s surface and in between teeth. Adding brackets, bands and wires becomes a virtually jungle gym – giving them all kinds of new places and surfaces to gather and multiply. All of this plaque leads to tooth decay and swollen, bleeding gums, so it is essential that you take your oral hygiene to the next level. Your orthodontist will instruct you on the proper method for keeping your particular type of orthodontia clean. Follow this plan meticulously and always check in the mirror after you’ve brushed to ensure that you haven’t left anything behind. Replace your tooth brushes when they begin to fray (every 2-3 months) since worn brushes are not effective. Using a fluoridated mouth rinse will give added protection and help keep your mouth clean.
Straightening your smile with orthodontia is a big investment in terms of cost and time. Protect this investment and avoid costly repairs by safeguarding your teeth during treatment. Although the importance of proper oral hygiene and diet cannot be emphasized enough, defending your teeth and braces during activity is critical and a protective mouth sports guard is a must! The brackets, bands and wires of your orthodontic braces can potentially cut your lips, gums, tongue and other tissues of the mouth during any sudden contact or force. Your orthodontist will make you custom-fitted guards that do not interfere with your braces and are more secure and comfortable than a store bought “one size fits all” type.
Additionally, certain habits like chewing on pencils and fingernails, playing with your braces with your fingers or tongue can also loosen and damage your orthodontia gear. Always call your orthodontist immediately if your have sustained a traumatic injury to your mouth. They will determine if you need to be seen for an examination. Having any broken or loose gear corrected as soon as possible will help you keep your treatment on track!
Sometimes, even with the greatest of care, a part of your orthodontic gear may break or become loose. Although, you may not be in pain or think that it isn’t an urgent matter, waiting to get it fixed may delay your treatment since broken brackets and wires can’t do their job. Call your orthodontist right away and they may want to see you right away or will schedule more time at your next appointment to correct the problem. In the meantime, if there are any parts of your gear that are sharp or protruding, you can find relief by placing some orthodontic wax around the area. If a wire is long and sticking into your gum, lip or cheek, you can try to carefully bend it back down with a Q-tip or pencil eraser so that it runs flat against your tooth. Be careful when eating and brushing so that you do not cause further damage to your braces.
ups and cleaning during ortho care. Although your orthodontist is helping you achieve a great smile, they involve themselves with straightening teeth and correcting bites, Your orthodontists does not replace the role of your dentist, who is you primary dental care provider. Keeping your teeth clean is especially challenging when your mouth is full of ortho gear and it takes patience and effort. This makes it even more important to keep up and hygiene appointments where you dentist can monitor your dental health, diagnose problem and then administer treatment accordingly.
We know that you want to set things straight with your teeth as quickly as possible. When the day finally comes to get your braces off and reveal your new smile to the world, you want it to be the best it can be. Following these tips may not decrease the time that you have to spend in treatment, but it can certainly help cut down on any delays in treatment.