You’ve gotten your braces on and begun your orthodontic journey. As you’re awaiting the day your new smile will be revealed, you may wonder, “How long do I have to wait?” Everyone’s smile is different, and there are many factors to consider when planning how long you’ll be wearing your braces. New England Orthodontic Specialists is here to help. To keep things simple, let’s take a look at the most common factors that could determine the length of your treatment.
What you being treated for
Every patient is unique, with different goals and treatment, but there is a general rule-of-thumb we can count on for most of our visitors. For example, if you have a complex case that requires comprehensive care, your treatment time will likely be longer than someone who has a reasonably healthy bite with only mild issues. Severely displaced teeth or significant bite problems often require more time to correct than simple spacing or crowding issues. The more work that’s done, and the more complex that work is, the more time it will take for the treatment to be completed.
How you respond to the treatment
Everyone responds to treatment in different ways. Even two patients with similar cases still 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 also affect treatment. It’s important to have an orthodontist who knows your specific needs. Or doctors take a personalized approach with every patient that visits our office. He or she will build you a custom treatment plan based on your specific goals for the best results.
How compliant you are with treatment
Your orthodontic journey should be a collaboration between you and your orthodontist. Patient participation is key in order to reduce treatment time and achieve the best possible outcome. Our doctors will take care of putting on your braces and prescribing the tooth movements associated with clear aligners. But you have a role in perfecting your smile too! How compliant you are with treatment guidelines can determine how long and how successful your treatment is.
The first part of treatment plan compliance is maintaining a strong, rigorous dental hygiene routine. Your braces can’t help your teeth if you are not keeping them clean. Failure 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.
Wearing elastics as prescribed is the KEY TO SUCCESS!!! Braces and aligners will straighten your teeth, but elastic wear by the patient will move the teeth into the correct bite. The patient has the power to reduce their treatment time and achieve the best possible outcome by wearing elastics as prescribed.
Lastly, staying on top of your scheduled appointments with us is important so we can adjust your treatment as needed and keep you on the right track. Missing multiple appointments will extend your treatment time. requiring you to be in braces or aligners longer than expected.
If you maintain good oral health, maintain your elastics, and follow the directions of your orthodontist, you can decrease the length of your treatment time. At each visit, our experts will assess the movement of your teeth and make sure everything is on track. If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, give us a head’s up and we can adjust to your busy schedule! But if you want to keep your treatment fast and steady, try to stick to the schedule as close as possible and make up for any missed appointments ASAP.
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, as 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. But 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.
Surprisingly, your age can also play a role in the length of your treatment. Patients can successfully move their teeth at any age. Children and teens, in particular, can move their teeth more easily due to their bones being more pliable since they’re still growing and not fully developed. This is why braces tend to be more common in childhood and adolescence. It also allows for our orthodontists 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.
Your braces treatment requires a lot of work and patience, but it does not last forever. With diligence, care, and collaboration with your orthodontist, we will help you down the path to a well-earned smile.
Our practice offers a wide range 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 slightly shorter.
There are many factors that can affect the length of treatment, but no matter how long your treatment takes, we can promise one thing: Our team of orthodontic experts will be there the whole time to make sure your final result is the smile you have always wanted.
Get the care you deserve at New England Orthodontic Specialists
You deserve the right care on your journey to the perfect smile. With the right orthodontists to guide you through the right treatment, better confidence is right around the corner. If you have any questions or concerns about oral hygiene during treatment, our expert team is always here to help set your mind at ease. Get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE initial consultation or follow-up with Dr. Neil and Dr. Diana in any of our offices Beverly, Topsfield, South Hamilton, or Salem.