Patients are often excited to get their braces — but just as excited to get rid of them and reveal their new, beautiful teeth and smile. Did you know that how well you care for your braces will play a big role in how long you must wear them? Here are five important tips to help you avoid delays in your orthodontic treatment.
- Don’t miss scheduled visits
Keeping your scheduled appointments is key to ensuring your teeth move into their final, desired positions. Regular visits allow our team to make necessary adjustments to your braces and identify any problem areas that need corrected. Postponing or canceling these important visits can extend treatment time and significantly delay your progress — adding weeks or even months to the total treatment time.
- Prevent damage to braces
A surefire way to delay your orthodontic treatment is to continually damage your braces. An occasional break or bend of the brackets and wires is expected, but if you encounter damage too frequently, it will interfere with the treatment timeline. You can prevent damage to your braces by always wearing a mouth guard when playing sports. You should also be mindful of the foods you eat to avoid breakage, especially those that are hard and chewy — such as popcorn, nuts, taffy, caramel, cookies, corn on the cob and pretzels.
- Repair damaged braces right away
If your braces break or get damaged, contact our office right away. Ill-fitting brackets and wires aren’t capable of effectively correcting your teeth, which can cause major setbacks in the entire treatment process. Similarly, if you wear Invisalign trays and break or misplace them, notify our office immediately. It is critical that you replace your trays as soon as possible so that treatment can progress on schedule. Failure to notify our team of any issues can even create bigger, more permanent problems that require you to spend more time in braces.
- Maintain good oral hygiene habits
It is always important to practice good oral hygiene, but this is especially true when you are straightening your teeth. When you are wearing braces, food and debris can become trapped easily around the brackets and wires. This puts you at a greater risk for infections and cavities, which can complicate and prolong your treatment. As a general rule, brush your teeth after eating to keep teeth and gums healthy throughout the duration of your orthodontic treatment.
- Follow instructions from McLean DDS
Apart from routine adjustment visits, patient compliance will play an important part in treatment time and results. For example, many patients with braces will also need to wear elastics at some point during their treatment. These rubber bands play a critical role in aligning the teeth and bite. Failure to follow instructions as directed is a guaranteed way to prevent your teeth from moving as scheduled.
Getting braces may seem like a long road, but we are here to tell you it is well worth it! Whether you choose traditional braces, Invisalign or other orthodontic procedures, we are here to help you reach the best outcome in the shortest amount of time. By following these easy tips, you can stay on track with your orthodontic treatment and achieve the teeth and smile you’ve always wanted.