La Habra/Chino Hills, CA – If you’re wearing braces, chances are good one of your first questions was how long you were going to have to wear them. Treatment times vary based on severity and your individual needs so your orthodontist can’t give you an exact time for when you will get your braces off. All in all everyone’s teeth move differently, however, there are some things you can do to keep your treatment moving.
“There are some factors that are out of your control,” says Dr. Robert Gire, orthodontist in Chino Hills. “You can’t control how your teeth respond to treatment, but you can control a few things that go along with your treatment. Being a good patient and holding up your part of the deal can help keep your treatment on track.”
So, how can you ensure that your treatment is as efficient and timely as possible?
- Keep your appointments! If you skip out on your regularly schedule appointments or reschedule them, it means your orthodontist can’t do the maintenance work needed to help keep your treatment on track. These appointments are important to adjust your braces, change out elastics, and make sure everything is progressing as it should. If you continue your treatment without these appointments, you may be doing a disservice to your treatment and it could actually add time to your overall treatment time.
- Take proper care of your appliances. Brackets and wires can’t do their jobs if they are broken so take care to protect your braces. If you play sports wear a protective mouthguard to prevent damage to your braces. Avoid foods that are on the do not eat list. Anything too hard, sticky, chewy, or crunchy can damage the brackets and wires.
- Don’t skimp on your oral care. We know it can be difficult to brush and floss around brackets and wires but it is important to take extra good care of your teeth during orthodontic treatment. Having to have dental work done during treatment can extend your time in braces.
- Follow your orthodontist’s instructions! This means wearing your rubber bands as directed if they are a part of your treatment plan. We know it can be annoying dealing with those tiny rubber bands but they do an important job. Rubber bands help us achieve movements that your braces alone cannot so it’s crucial to wear the rubber bands exactly as directed. If you opt for clear aligner therapy, you must stick to your aligner wear schedule. The aligners can only work when they are in place so don’t forget to wear them at least 22 hours a day. And don’t change aligner sets until it is time.
“When patients ask us what the most important thing is to speed their treatment along, we have one answer,” says Dr. Gire. “The patient him or herself! You are an important part of keeping your treatment on track. We can do everything as efficiently and effectively as possible but if you aren’t doing your part, your treatment can’t progress as it should. You are a partner in your care so be sure you have a clear understanding of everything you need to do to ensure your treatment goes as planned.”
If you are ready to begin your path to a new smile, call Gire Orthodontics today at 562-690-1199 (La Habra) or 909-393-9911 (Chino Hills).