You’ve just gotten your braces on. Congratulations! But now there’s the next question: How long do I keep them on? There’s a lot of excitement and anxiety leading to the day you get your smile, and everyone has a unique orthodontic journey. There are a few factors to consider when planning how long you’ll be wearing your braces. Moon Orthodontics is here to help. Let’s take a look at a few things that could determine the length of your braces journey.
What are 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 does your body 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. Dr. Moon takes a personalized approach with every patient that visits our office. He’ll build you a custom treatment plan based on your specific goals for the best results.
Are you compliant with your treatment?
Your orthodontic journey should be a collaboration between you and your orthodontist. Dr. Moon 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. It’s also important to wear your elastics if you’re wearing braces. This also means staying on top of your scheduled appointments with us.
If you maintain good oral health and follow the directions of your orthodontist, you can decrease the length of your treatment time. But another essential part of the process is meeting with your orthodontic team. Dr. Moon and 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 later.
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.
How old are you?
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 Dr. Moon 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, and not just the ones listed above. Any of these could make your treatment longer or shorter than others. But no matter how long your treatment takes, we can promise one thing: Our expert team of orthodontic experts will be there the whole time to make your final result is the smile you want.
Get the most from your smile at Moon Orthodontics
You deserve the right care on the road to your ideal 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. Are you interested in learning more about being proactive with your smile? Get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE consultation or follow-up appointment with our Overland Park or Olathe office!