Kids are generally really excited to get started with their braces, but about half way through their treatments, they get just as excited to finish and have the braces removed. I get asked, “Is there anything that you can do to get the braces off sooner?” Here are some tips to help get you finished up as quick as possible.
- Wear your rubber bands (elastics) exactly as directed by your orthodontist! This is by far the largest contributor to moving along as planned, and getting your braces off as quick as possible. If I ask you to wear elastics 22-23 hours a day, and they are only worn an average of 12 hours, treatment will likely take over twice as long as it normally would. That means what would have taken 18 months may take over 2-3 years! Start off immediately with great rubber band wear, and often you will finish faster than what I estimated at the start.
- Related to this…doubling up your rubber bands will not make things move faster. In fact, just the opposite occurs, as too heavy a force placed on teeth can make them move slower! I usually see this after rubber bands were not worn for several weeks, and kids are attempting to “catch up” before their next appointment. Your orthodontist wants things to move as efficiently as possible, and will direct you to wear the elastic that is most ideal for you.
- Keep your teeth and mouth really clean! A really clean mouth has less inflammation, and this can help your teeth move faster. Cleanliness leads to gums that do not bleed, which helps the braces stay on the teeth better, resulting in less broken brackets and less emergency appointments (along with better breath and less permanent staining on teeth).
- Come to your appointments as scheduled! If you miss appointments, you are delaying the next step in your treatment. Sometimes life happens and you have to miss an appointment. We understand this – but try to re-schedule as soon as possible.
- Be careful what you eat, and how you eat with your braces on. Eating foods on the “no-no list” can cause the brackets to come loose and temporarily stop tooth movement until it can be repaired. Avoid really sticky, crunchy foods, and slow down while you are eating meals to ensure less breakage!
Do your best to follow the above tips, and you will be out of your braces with an amazing smile in no time!
Dr. Dan Rejman practices and lives in Castle Rock, Colorado. He is the owner of Meadows Orthodontics, and has been Board Certified by the ABO since 2007.