Congratulations! You’re on the path to getting a brand new smile. Now that your braces are set to go, the anticipation builds for that big day when you can finally take them off. While many patients look for a fixed timeline on how long they’ll be wearing braces, much like a snowflake, here at Timock Family Orthodontics, we believe everyone’s journey to healthier oral care is as unique as their personality. Dr. Timock and his team of dental experts treat each patient individually, as everyone has their own unique timeline of how long they will need braces. For a bit of insight, here are some factors that help determine treatment length.
What is your treatment?
The first thing to consider is what type of treatment you’re receiving. While everyone’s orthodontic experience is unique, there is a general rule that factors into determining treatment length. Generally, patients with more complicated cases tend to have longer treatment times. For example, a patient with minor spacing issues wouldn’t need to be in braces as long as a patient with significant over or underbite issues. Something to remember, the goal is to get your treatment done the right way, so no matter how long the wait, the path to a brighter smile is worth it.
How does your body respond to treatment?
Once again, every patient will have a different experience with their treatment depending on what they’re getting, how their body reacts to the treatment and various other factors that determine the length of time. Even patients with similar cases may have different treatment times because of their different bodies. Characteristics such as gum tissue thickness, bone density, and chewing patterns vary between people, and oral habits such as clenching or grinding teeth can also affect treatment. Each of these characteristics or combinations of practices can contribute to how long your treatment length lasts. This is also why it’s crucial to have an orthodontist who knows your specific habits and needs. They can recommend the best course of action, reduce the time it takes to heal, and allow their patients a smooth transition to a healthier smile.
Where are you on your braces journey?
Things like your age, genetics and, of course, your dieting habits can affect your treatment time. Children and teens can move their teeth more easily because their bones are more pliable since they’re not fully developed. This is why braces tend to be more common in childhood and teenage years. Getting your braces at a younger age also allows for your orthodontist to have more experience with your personal needs, allowing them to have more control over your orthodontic development. While it’s easier to move teeth when you are younger, it’s still possible to move your teeth at any age.
For older patients, teeth can take longer to move as they’ve had more time to develop. In most cases, the jaw bones stop growing by our late teens or early twenties. Successfully treating orthodontic issues after that point may require more time and effort. While there isn’t an exact date, you can expect to get your braces removed, and most cases require treatment for anywhere between twelve to thirty-six months. For minor issues such as spacing, clear aligners are a popular choice among patients and may require less time, depending on the case.
How collaborative are you?
While the orthodontists in your care play a guide in your orthodontic journey, it’s still important for patients to do their part in order to get the most successful outcome from treatment. Paying attention to recommendations from your orthodontists and following up with timely check-ins are just a couple of ways to help get the most out of your smile. It’s also important to communicate your needs as a patient. Life is full of unexpected situations, and sometimes things happen that you may not be prepared for, such as a loosened bracket or damage to your retainer. When such occurrences happen, it’s essential to contact your orthodontists as soon as possible to address the case quickly so you can continue your orthodontic treatment.
How consistent are you?
When it comes to maintaining excellent oral hygiene, consistency is vital. Keeping your teeth clean and staying up with your scheduled appointments are essential to growing a great smile. Your braces can’t improve your teeth if you are not keeping them clean and healthy. Neglecting to take care of your teeth and gums can not only hurt your treatment, but it can actually slow your treatment down. Orthodontic treatment may need to be paused if dental work needs to be done. If you maintain consistent habits and follow the instructions of your orthodontist, you can keep your treatment on track.
This is also the case for maintaining scheduled appointments laid out by your orthodontist. If you miss appointments, it becomes more difficult for your orthodontist to keep track of your progress. This can hinder your treatment and cause delays in your expected finish date, so be sure to check in with your orthodontist and make sure everything is going according to plan. In order 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. We want to help all of our patients get the most from their treatment time!
Start your braces journey with Timock Family Orthodontics
There are many factors that can affect the length of your treatment, and not just the ones we’ve discussed above. Whether you’re dealing with minor changes or more extensive treatment, we want to help guide you to your best smile. Our team of orthodontists is always ready here for you from the first day of treatment to the day you get your brand new smile!
At Timock Family Orthodontics, your orthodontic experience with our team of reliable and experienced doctors is the foundation of a healthier smile.
If you’re interested in seeking orthodontic treatment from us today, contact us here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Timock. Excellent orthodontic care is only a few minutes from your home, work, or school within Fort Collins and Windsor. Keep up with us on our social!