Whether you choose traditional braces, clear braces, or Invisalign®, orthodontic treatment takes time. For some patients, it can feel like an eternity. The average length of an orthodontic treatment timeline is between 18 and 24 months. At Markham Orthodontics in Sacramento, CA, Dr. David Markham can offer a few tips and tricks to help you complete your treatment so you can show off your brand-new smile and start living life to the fullest.
Attend Your Routine Dental Appointments
One surefire way to stay on track with your orthodontic treatment is to keep your scheduled visits. Your orthodontic plan has been designed exclusively for you. Each step has been mapped out to help you achieve your goals with the most conservative methods in the shortest time possible. During your orthodontic visits, our doctors will assess your progress, make any necessary adjustments, and let you know what to expect in the coming weeks.
While you are in braces, it is especially important to also attend your cleanings and examinations at your dental office, as well. Orthodontic appliances can make it difficult to properly brush and floss your teeth. Ask your dentist how often you should receive teeth cleanings for optimal oral health.
Be as Compliant as Possible
The overall success of your orthodontic treatment largely depends on compliance. While you are wearing braces, it is important to adhere to all recommended guidelines. For example, if you are wearing traditional metal braces, it is important to follow your dietary restrictions by avoiding hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that could break brackets and damaged wires.
If you are undergoing Invisalign treatment, it is important to wear your trays for 22 hours a day, at minimum. The more you follow the recommendations given to you, the better chance you have at completing your treatment in a timely manner.
Do Your Homework
Occasionally, your treatment may require supplemental orthodontic appliances, such as expanders, headgear, or retainers. If your doctor tells you this will be part of your treatment plan, it is important to follow the directions as closely as possible for a successful outcome.
Develop Excellent Oral Hygiene Habits
Braces make you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. In addition to keeping your routine dental cleanings, it is also important to develop an at-home hygiene routine to keep your teeth and gums healthy between visits. Just the nature of orthodontics makes it more difficult to brush and floss. Because of this, a proper oral hygiene regimen is more important than ever. Floss threaders and interproximal brushes can be quite useful for patients who are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. Ask your dentist to give you recommendations regarding proper at-home care.
Talk to Your Orthodontist
Most importantly, if you are interested in speeding up your orthodontic treatment, speak with your doctor. He or she can give you specific recommendations that will help you achieve the smile you desire on a timetable that will work for you. Each patient has a unique set of needs. Therefore, every treatment plan will be catered to the individual. Whatever your concerns, our doctors can help you address them.