June 25, 2022
There’s a lot of anticipation leading to the day you get your smile, and everyone has a unique treatment experience. However, as you start your orthodontic journey, there’s one more question: How long do I keep them on? At Central Virginia Orthodontics, we want to help you plan your smile journey every step of the way so you know exactly what to expect. Let’s look at a few things that can affect the length of your braces treatment.
What are you being treated for?
While every patient’s treatment is different, there is a general rule of thumb we can count on for most of our visitors: If you have a more severe case that requires comprehensive care, your treatment time will be longer than someone who has a healthier bite with mild issues. Severely displaced teeth or significant bite problems require more time to correct than simple spacing or crowding issues. The more work that’s needed, and the more complex that work is, the more time it will take for the treatment to finish.
How does your body respond to the treatment?
Every patient is unique, so everyone responds to treatment in different ways. Even patients with similar cases won’t 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 affect treatment. That’s why it’s important to have an orthodontist who knows your unique needs. Our doctors take a personalized approach to every patient that visits our office. We’ll design you a customized treatment plan based on your specific goals for the results you want.
Are you compliant with your treatment?
Your treatment process should be a collaborative effort between you and our orthodontists. Our doctors will put on your braces and plan the tooth movements associated with clear aligners. However, you’re important to the process too! How compliant you are with treatment guidelines can determine how long and how successful your treatment is.
An important part of treatment plan compliance is maintaining a strong, rigorous oral hygiene routine. Your braces can’t improve your teeth if you are not keeping them healthy and clean. Improper 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. If you maintain strong oral health habits and follow the instructions of your orthodontist, you can decrease the length of your treatment time.
Another important part of the process is meeting with our orthodontic team. Our doctors will assess the movement of your teeth and make sure everything is going smoothly. If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, let us know and we can adjust to your busy schedule! If you want to keep your treatment fast and on track, try to stick to the schedule as close as possible and make up for any missed appointments later. This means staying on top of your scheduled appointments with us. We want to be there for you every step of the way!
Braces and aligners are important tools for developing your new smile, but they are also susceptible to damage. Any breaks, snaps, or cracks in your braces require fixing, and this can slow your treatment schedule. If you’re wearing braces, one way to avoid this is to avoid any crunchy or sticky foods. 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. However, 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?
Yes, your age can play a role in the length of your treatment too! Patients can successfully move their teeth at any age. However, children and teens can move their teeth more easily because their bones are more pliable since they’re not fully developed. It allows our doctors to have more control over your bite correction. For older patients, 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.
We offer a wide variety of treatments to move your teeth comfortably and quickly. While there will not be an exact end date for your treatment, the general time in braces tends to be anywhere from twelve to thirty-six months. Treatment can be shorter if you’re using a clear aligner system like Invisalign.
Many factors can affect the length of treatment. No matter how long your treatment takes, we can promise one thing: Our team of orthodontic experts will be there to make sure your final smile is the one you want.
Get the best braces with Central Virginia Orthodontics
At Central Virginia Orthodontics, we want you to be excited for the day your new smile is revealed. Our expert team and welcoming office are here to provide a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your goals. Get in touch to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Baugher or Dr. Claiborne or to talk through your concerns with us! Your satisfaction is as important to us as your smile.