After all your hard work, you’re probably ready to reveal your beautiful new smile, and we are just as excited as you are to see the transformation! As prepared as you may be to finally get your braces taken off, is your mouth ready for your braces to come off?
If there’s one thing we can say about our teeth, it’s that they are incredibly stubborn! It requires an enormous amount of pressure to move them into the optimal position and allow for the gums to grow around that movement to support the changes. For most people, the timeline for wearing braces and making those stubborn movements is about 1-3 years. There are some cases that can lengthen this process closer to the 36-month mark, but the only way to get to the perfectly aligned smile that lasts a lifetime is to give your whole mouth the proper time it needs to adjust.
We understand that getting your teeth straightened with orthodontics is a big decision. After all, your smile is the window to your personality. While we may not be able to magically speed up your treatment timeline, the experts here at Howard Orthodontics can shed some light on what takes so much time and how to lessen the time you spend in braces.
It’s just about straight teeth, right?
It won’t take long for your teeth to move enough for you to notice a difference. Most patients can actually see a change in their smile within about six months of getting their braces placed. But this is only the first stage of the process to a lifetime of good oral health, so don’t get too excited just yet. So far, you have only uncrowded teeth or closed gaps on the aesthetic level. If your braces are removed too soon, they will just slip back into their original position.
Next, the focus is on your bite, or how your upper teeth meet your lower teeth. This is extremely important for chewing, and having proper alignment can reduce the wear and damage on your teeth and jaw. Ideally, your braces will also align your teeth for the appropriate overbite during this stage which helps keep your front teeth from wearing down over time. In some cases, correcting bite alignment can actually create a gap in your front teeth during the initial movement. This gap is standard and will be rectified before your braces come off. Removing your braces too soon after closing this gap can cause the gap to return, sometimes years after getting your braces removed.
But things get even more profound. If your teeth need to be straightened, it only makes sense that the roots below will need to be straightened, too. Without ensuring that the roots become parallel with the adjustments of the teeth, the teeth are likely to return to the previous position. This is why taking the time even after your teeth appear straight is essential. So much of this final movement is not visible but is undoubtedly vital to an effective treatment.
What other factors affect when my braces come off?
Your perfect smile is personalized to you, so we take the time from the initial consultation through every appointment to make sure that your care is custom-tailored to your needs, lifestyle, and smile goals. Thanks to technological advancements in orthodontics, there are many braces options available. Each option will get you to a straight smile, but some versions are now more efficient at making adjustments and cutting down on the time you spend in braces than patients who utilize conventional metal braces.
At Howard Orthodontics, we are excited to offer 3M pre-pasted brackets and 3M Clarity Advanced clear brackets. Our 3M pre-pasted brackets are packaged in a tamper-evident, factory-sealed container, so we can be sure we are providing you with clean, sterile care. And our 3M Clarity Advanced clear braces are designed to be less noticeable on your teeth than metal braces. They’re smaller than ever and made of nearly invisible tooth-colored polycrystalline ceramic material.
Many factors beyond our control may contribute to the time you spend in braces. The severity of your jaw and bite when you get started, the rate your teeth move, your age, and even your participation in your dental treatment can affect your timeline. Make sure you wear your rubber bands as instructed by your orthodontist and make it to all of your appointments to have the best chance at a timely experience.
While there is much we may not be able to control, the best thing you can do to stay on track is to closely follow Dr. Howard’s instructions during your braces journey. There are no magical tips for accelerating your treatment, but you can do a lot to ensure your treatment does not face any slowdowns. Here are a few tips to properly care for your braces and ensure they come off as timely as you expected:
- Avoid carbonated drinks like soda and sticky or gooey foods like gum, caramel, and other chewy candies, as well as popcorn. Constant chewing can compromise the integrity of your braces’ hardware.
- Chop your food into smaller pieces and take time to chew slowly. This will help you avoid pain when chewing and helps prevent brackets and wire from breaking.
- Brush and floss meticulously. You are more likely to avoid setbacks with healthy teeth and gums.
Trust your smile to Howard Orthodontics!
Just as unique as you are, your treatment plan varies depending on your unique situation. Working with an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Eric Howard in Willow Street guarantees you’ll receive the best care for your individual needs. At Howard Orthodontics, it’s easier than ever to get a beautiful, straight smile. Our skilled team promises to give you exceptional care in a family-oriented and professional setting.
Our office is conveniently located in Willow Street so your orthodontic treatment is close to home, school, or work. With state-of-the-art technology, an inviting atmosphere, and friendly staff, we’re proud to offer an exceptional orthodontic experience. Schedule an appointment or FREE consultation today if you’re interested in finding out when you might be ready to get your braces off, or you are prepared to learn more about the best teeth straightening options for you or your loved ones!