Regardless of whether you or your child is just starting the journey to straighter, healthier teeth, you’re likely wondering just how long the treatment will take. In this post, we’ll break down the different factors that determine orthodontic treatment timelines and what you can do to ensure your treatment schedule stays on track.
Average Orthodontic Treatment Length
Moving teeth is a serious business, and treatment times will always vary from case to case. Your treatment time will depend on your unique situation and the current state of your teeth. On average, orthodontic treatment will take about 12-18 months, depending on the severity of the patient’s dental needs and how diligent they are with following their providers’ instructions.
Factors That Play A Role In Treatment Time
Several factors like a patient’s age, type of alignment issue, and type of treatment affect how long a person will be wearing braces. For example, if a patient has a severe issue such as jaw misalignment, that person can expect a longer treatment time than someone who has minor alignment issues.
After a thorough examination and evaluation, most orthodontists will inform you of the exact period you can expect to be wearing braces before any brackets and wires are ever placed.
Other factors can play a role in if your treatment plan stays on schedule. Finish treatment as soon as possible by following these tips.
Don’t Skip Appointments.
Wearing braces requires you to visit your provider every 3-6 weeks to track your progress and ensure that your teeth shift as scheduled and planned by your doctor. Missing an appointment may take some time to reschedule and will delay your treatment plan. In some cases, this means that patients end up wearing braces longer than initially planned.
Wear Your Rubber Bands
Dental professionals prescribe that you wear rubber bands and headgear to prevent movements that would lead to injuries. These oral devices assist in shortening the treatment process as they increase the efficiency of the braces.
Perfect Your Oral Hygiene Routine
The only way to emerge from braces cavity-free is to take your brushing and flossing routine up a notch and make sure you’re taking the time to care for your teeth properly. Not brushing and flossing can allow cavity-causing bacteria to be trapped in and around brackets and wires.
Avoid Damaging Brackets and Wires
Observing proper oral hygiene practices and eating a healthy diet as recommended by your orthodontist plays a critical role in determining how long you’ll wear braces. When wearing braces, one should avoid hard foods like nuts, maize, gum, popcorn, and sugary foods to avoid causing damage to brackets and wires.
When Will I First Notice Straighter Teeth?
Once you’ve begun treatment, you’re going to be anxious to begin to see noticeable results. Most patients begin to notice their teeth looking different, typically 4 to 10 weeks into treatment.
Taking a picture of your teeth each time you visit the orthodontist for an appointment will help to give you progress photos of how your teeth are shifting and evolving along the way.
How Can I Finish Orthodontic Treatment Faster?
Staying diligent throughout your entire treatment process is the best way to finish treatments faster. Your routine appointments with Thomas Orthodontics are a great time to discuss how your treatment is progressing and anything the doctor can recommend to accelerate treatment time. Ask us for some personalized tips at your next appointment.