Tips to Speed Up Orthodontic Treatment
Austin, TX – After the initial excitement of starting orthodontic treatment wears off, you probably can’t wait to have your braces or appliance removed so you can show off your new smile. While patience is key, there are some things you can do to ensure your treatment stays on track, and maybe even help move up your debond date.
“While we can’t tell patients exactly how long they’ll need to be in treatment, we can offer an estimate,” says Dr. Silvana Gonzalez, orthodontist at Pure Smiles Orthodontics in Austin. “But, this estimate takes into account ideal patient compliance, along with teeth that move exactly how we hope they will. If patients don’t follow our recommendations, that estimate will only grow.”
So, what can you do to help your treatment time go by quickly?
- Keep all of your appointments. We know it can be hard to fit orthodontic adjustments into busy schedules. But these appointments are crucial to ensuring treatment stays on track. We need to ensure your teeth are responding to treatment the way we had hoped, and make any adjustments necessary. Failing to keep your appointments can extend your treatment time by weeks or even months.
- Take proper care of your smile. Brushing and flossing around your brackets and wires can be annoying, but it is especially important to pay close attention to oral hygiene while in braces. There are a lot of nooks and crannies for food particles and bacteria to hide, so it’s important to pay close attention when cleaning your teeth. If you experience tooth decay or gum disease during orthodontic treatment, it can set your treatment back.
- Just say no to hard, crunchy, sticky and chewy foods. When you are wearing metal or ceramic braces, it is important to stick to the dietary restrictions your orthodontist gives you. We know it can be hard to say no to certain foods, but eating anything too hard, sticky, or crunchy can damage your brackets and wires, which can then prolong your treatment time.
- Wear your elastics. Elastics play an important role in perfecting your bite, so it is very important that you wear them exactly as your orthodontist recommended. We know they can take some getting used to, but if you wear them as your orthodontist told you to, you’ll be used to them in no time and your bite will be perfected in as short a time as possible. The same goes for Invisalign patients – it is crucial to wear your aligners a minimum of 22 hours a day to achieve ideal tooth movement.
- Be gentle. Your teeth are already under a lot of pressure, so avoid bad habits that can cause any unnecessary pressure. Avoid chewing on pens and pencils, and try to avoid excessive tooth grinding.
“Unfortunately, there is no quick fix when it comes to perfecting your smile,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “Orthodontic treatment requires patience and hard work, both from you and our orthodontic team. But, if we work together, you will be showing off your new smile in no time.”