You’ve got your braces on and started your orthodontic journey to a better smile. Congratulations! Now there’s one more question: How long do I keep them on? There’s a lot of anticipation leading to the day you get your smile, and everyone has a unique treatment experience. There are a few factors to consider when planning how long you’ll be wearing your braces. At Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics, we want to help you plan your smile journey every step of the way so you know exactly what to expect. Let’s look at a few things that could determine the length of your braces journey.
What are you being treated for?
Every patient is unique. However, there is a general rule of thumb we can count on for most of our visitors. If you have a complex case that requires comprehensive care, your treatment time will likely be longer than someone who has a healthier bite with only moderate issues. Severely displaced teeth or significant bite problems require more time to correct than simple spacing or crowding issues. The more work that’s needed, and the more complex that work is, the more time it will take for the treatment to finish.
How does your body respond to the treatment?
Just as every patient is unique, everyone responds to treatment in unique ways. Even patients with similar cases will rarely have the same exact response to the same treatment. Gum tissue thickness, bone density, and chewing patterns vary between people, and oral habits such as clenching or grinding the teeth can affect treatment. That’s why it’s important to have an orthodontist who knows your unique needs. Dr. Farrow and Dr. Dewbre take a personalized approach to every patient that visits our office. They’ll build you a custom treatment plan based on your specific goals for optimal results.
Are you compliant with your treatment?
Your treatment journey should be a collaborative process between you and your orthodontist. Dr. Farrow and Dr. Dewbre will put on your braces and plan the tooth movements associated with clear aligners. However, you’re important to the process too! How compliant you are with treatment guidelines can determine how long and how successful your treatment is.
An essential part of treatment plan compliance is maintaining a strong, rigorous oral hygiene routine. Your braces can’t improve your teeth if you are not keeping them clean. Neglecting to take care of your teeth and gum can slow your treatment down. Orthodontic treatment may need to be paused if dental work needs to be done. It’s important to wear your elastics if you’re wearing braces. If you maintain strong oral health habits and follow the instructions of your orthodontist, you can decrease the length of your treatment time.
Another essential part of the process is meeting with your orthodontic team. Dr. Farrow and Dr. Dewbre will assess the movement of your teeth and make sure everything is going according to plan. If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, let us know and we can adjust to your busy schedule! If you want to keep your treatment fast and on track, try to stick to the schedule as close as possible and make up for any missed appointments later. This means staying on top of your scheduled appointments with us. We want to be there for you!
Braces and aligners are important tools for creating your best smile, but they are also susceptible to damage. Any breaks, cracks, or snaps in your braces require fixing, and this can push your treatment schedule back. If you’re wearing braces, one way to avoid this is to avoid any crunchy or sticky foods. These can weaken the bond strength of brackets or snap wires. A broken or loosened bracket is not considered an emergency, and may not need immediate attention. However, we do want to rebond it as soon as possible. When a bracket isn’t properly bonded to your teeth, no active tooth movement occurs. This can add time to the treatment process, so be sure to contact our office if you experience any damage to your appliance.
How old are you?
Your age can play a role in the length of your treatment. Patients can successfully move their teeth at any age. However, children and teens can move their teeth more easily because their bones are more pliable since they’re not fully developed. This is why braces tend to be more common in childhood and adolescence. It allows for Dr. Farrow and Dr. Dewbre to have more control over your bite correction. For older patients, however, treatment can take longer with more developed teeth. The jawbone stops growing by our early twenties. Successfully treating orthodontic issues after that point may require more time and effort.
Our office offers a variety of treatments to move your teeth comfortably, efficiently, and as quickly as possible. While there will not be an exact end date for your treatment, the average time in braces tends to be anywhere from twelve to thirty-six months. Treatment with a clear aligner system like Invisalign can be shorter.
Many factors can affect the length of treatment, and not just the ones listed above. Any of these could make your treatment longer or shorter than others. No matter how long your treatment takes, we can promise one thing: Our team of orthodontic experts will be there the whole time so your final smile is the one you want.
Get the best at Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics
Braces are an exciting start towards a better smile, and you deserve the right office to guide you every step of the way. Our Farrow & Dewbre Orthodontics teams are knowledgeable, friendly, and eager to guide you through your orthodontic procedure.
Our dedication to our Western Oklahoma patients shows through our exceptional care, and we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date on the latest orthodontic treatments and technologies. Schedule a FREE consultation with us today!