After the time and effort you’ve put in, we know you’re ready to get those braces off and see your smile transformation! As prepared as you may be, is it time for your braces to come off yet?
It’s no secret that your teeth are incredibly stubborn, but that is part of what makes them so strong. They require enormous pressure to move them into the optimal position and allow 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. Some cases 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. Our goal is to help you show off your smile for a lifetime! While we may not be able to magically speed up your treatment timeline, the experts here at Smith and Heymann Orthodontics can shed some light on what takes so much time and how to lessen the time you spend in braces.
Once my teeth look straight, I’m done. 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. This is only the first stage 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 else could affect my smile reveal timeline?
Your perfect smile is personalized to you, so we take the time from the initial consultation through every appointment to ensure 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 give you 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.
Dental technology is always getting better. At Smith and Heymann Orthodontics, we are excited to offer the latest orthodontic treatments to make your new smile as fast and affordable as possible. By pairing state-of-the-art technology with our thorough understanding of the movement and growth of the teeth and jaws, we can successfully treat many common dental issues in much less time than the bulky braces of old.
Many factors beyond our control may contribute to your time 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 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 follow your orthodontist’s instructions during your braces journey closely. 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 wires from breaking.
- Brush and floss meticulously. You are more likely to avoid setbacks with healthy teeth and gums.
Don’t Worry! The wait is worth it with Smith & Heymann Orthodontics!
Dr. Smith, Dr. Heymann, Dr. Skillstad, and their team are dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date treatment options available, no matter how unique your orthodontic needs may be. Working with experienced orthodontists like our doctors in Durham, Chapel Hill, Mebane, or Roxboro, NC guarantees you’ll receive the best care for your individual needs. At Smith and Heymann Orthodontics, we believe patients should be well-informed when it comes to their treatment, and our skilled team promises to give you exceptional care in a family-oriented and professional setting.
We strive to go above and beyond for every patient we serve. With innovative 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!