If you've started orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist has likely given you an estimated time frame. Our Langley orthodontists discuss how you can stay on track with your treatment.
Orthodontic treatment is an investment in your smile, and like any other investment, you want to get the highest return possible! There are many ways to ensure your braces or clear aligners provide you with the best results, so here’s how to get the most out of your orthodontic treatment from the professionals in Langley.
There are a number of ways that you can keep your orthodontic treatment with braces on track. Here are the top things our Langley orthodontists recommend to help make sure your braces aren't on for longer than originally planned.
Your Oral Hygiene Practices
As you already know, the health of your teeth depends on how well you take care of them. Same goes for braces or Invisalign. The more diligent you are about brushing and flossing, the fewer delays you’ll have throughout your orthodontic treatment. So in many ways, practicing good oral hygiene will actually help you get your braces off faster!
If you have braces, you should brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, but ideally after every meal so you don’t have pesky food particles hiding behind your brackets and wires all day. The same rules apply if you have Invisalign. Brushing your teeth after you eat will help keep your aligners (and teeth!) stain-free.
How Well You Adhere to Your Doctor’s Instructions
Believe it or not, there’s a method to your orthodontist’s madness. When Dr. Patel tells you not to eat crunchy foods or play sports without a mouthguard, it’s not because he doesn’t want you to have any fun — it’s because he wants your braces treatment to go as smoothly as possible. Listening to your doctor and following his or her instructions will mean less time in the orthodontist chair and more time enjoying your life. So do what your orthodontist says and your treatment will be over before you know it.
Avoiding Damage to Your Braces
Speaking of crunchy foods and mouthguards, any damage to your braces can cause setbacks in your orthodontic treatment. For people with braces, that means avoiding crunchy, sticky or chewy foods, and any foods you have to bite into (like apples or raw carrots), and wearing a mouthguard for any contact sports. For those with Invisalign, this means taking care of your aligners and only washing them in lukewarm water, since hot water can warp the plastic.
If you want to stay on track with your Invisalign treatment, follow these simple steps to ensure your treatment doesn't last longer than it needs to.
Keep Your Appointments to Speed Up Invisalign Results
You'll only need to see our Invisalign providers for about 10-15 minutes every other month. Unfortunately, putting your appointment off or canceling it at the last minute can cause your results to be delayed, interfering with your mission to speed up Invisalign treatment. When you’re not able to progress to the next set of aligners, your tooth movement will stall.
Don't lose your aligners
Invisalign wearers, this one’s for you. We get it: things happen and at some point during your Invisalign treatment, you might end up misplacing your aligners. Our first word of advice is not to panic. Just call your orthodontist and he’ll be able to suggest the best course of action. This may mean going back to your previous set of aligners or skipping ahead to your next set, depending on your unique situation. Disrupting your Invisalign plan can definitely slow down your progress, though, so be careful and always put your aligners safely in their case when you’re not wearing them!
Wear Your Trays at Least 20 Hours Per Day
Not wearing your Invisalign aligners for as long as you’re supposed to may seem like it’s not that big of a deal, but it will delay your treatment. Your teeth need to have consistent pressure on them throughout the day in order to move properly. If the trays come off on a frequent basis for a long amount of time, your teeth will want to keep shifting back to their previous location. Too much back-and-forth can damage their roots and cause relapse.
Ask About Acceleration Devices
Not everyone qualifies for orthodontic acceleration, but it does work for some people. These types of devices are worn over your Invisalign braces to pulse thousands of tiny vibrations across your teeth for about 15-20 minutes per day. The theory is that the more the tiny ligaments around your teeth are stimulated, the quicker they’ll facilitate tooth movement and bone remodeling to speed up Invisalign treatment. However, many Invisalign experts still advise caution when using such devices, as they may require more frequent re-mapping or possible changes in your treatment plan.
Change Your Trays Out as Directed
Progressing to your next set of Invisalign trays ahead of schedule may seem like an easy way to shave time off of your orthodontic treatment plan and speed up Invisalign treatment. However, orthodontists and Invisalign experts recommend against this practice. Even taking a day or two off of each two-week cycle can lead to serious side effects like relapse, bone damage, root resorption, and having to re-plan the entire orthodontic case from scratch.