Braces are an exciting first step to your orthodontic journey. Now there’s one question: How long do you keep them on? There’s a lot of anticipation leading to the day you get your smile, and everyone has a different treatment experience. There are a couple of factors to keep in mind when planning how long you’ll be wearing your braces. At Williams & Hamman Orthodontics, we want to know what to expect at every step of your journey. Let’s take a look at a few things that could determine the length of your treatment.
What is your treatment?
While everyone is different, there is a general rule of thumb we can count on for most of our patients: If you have a complex case, your treatment time will likely be longer than someone who has only moderate issues. Significant bite problems or severely displaced teeth require more time for correction than simple crowding or spacing issues. The more work that’s needed, the more time it will take for the treatment to finish.
How does your body respond?
Every patient responds to treatment in unique ways, because everyone is different! Patients with similar cases will rarely have the same response to the same treatment. Gum tissue thickness, bone density, and chewing patterns vary between people, and oral habits such as clenching or grinding the teeth can affect treatment. That’s why it’s essential to have an orthodontist who knows your unique needs. Dr. Williams and Dr. Hamman take an individualized approach to every patient that visits our office. They’ll build you a custom treatment plan based on your goals for optimal results.
How Old Are You?
Your age can play a role in the length of your treatment too. 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 adolescence. It allows for Dr. Williams and Dr. Hamman to have more control over your bite correction. However, patients can successfully move their teeth at any age! For older patients, treatment can take longer with more developed teeth. The jawbone stops growing by our early twenties. Effectively treating orthodontic issues after that point may require more time and effort.
Our team has a wide variety of treatment options to move your teeth as comfortably and quickly as possible. While there will not be an exact date your treatment will finish, the average time in braces can be anywhere from twelve to thirty-six months. Treatment with a clear aligner system like Invisalign can be shorter. Just remember that no matter how long your treatment takes, you’re never too old to start!
How Compliant Are You?
Your treatment should be a collaboration between you and our orthodontists. Dr. Williams and Dr. Hamman will attach your braces and plan the tooth movements associated with clear aligners. However, you’re an important part of the process too! Your compliance with treatment guidelines can determine how long and how effective your treatment is.
A strong, rigorous oral hygiene routine is a good way to remain compliant with your treatment. Your braces can’t help your teeth if you are not keeping them clean and healthy. If you neglect to take care of your teeth and gums, this can slow your treatment down. Orthodontic treatment may need to be paused if dental work needs to be done. If you maintain strong oral health habits and follow the instructions of your orthodontist, you can keep your treatment on track.
Another part of the process is meeting with our orthodontic team. Dr. Williams and Dr. Hamman will check the movement of your teeth and make sure everything is going according to plan. If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, let us know and we can adjust to your busy schedule! If you want to keep your treatment 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 with us. We want to be there for you so you can get the most from your treatment time!
Braces and aligners are important tools for creating and maintaining your best smile. However, they are also susceptible to damage. Any breaks, cracks, or snaps in your braces require fixing, and this can push your treatment schedule back. If you’re wearing braces, it’s best to avoid any crunchy or sticky foods. These can weaken the bond strength of brackets or snap wires. A broken or loosened bracket is not considered an emergency, and may not need immediate attention. However, we do want to rebond it as soon as possible. When a bracket isn’t properly bonded to your teeth, no active tooth movement occurs. This can elongate your treatment process, so be sure to contact our office if there’s any damage to your appliance.
Many factors can affect the length of your treatment, and not just the ones we’ve discussed above. No matter how long your treatment takes, we can promise one thing: Our team of orthodontic experts will be there to ensure your final smile is the one you want.
Trust Williams & Hamman Orthodontics
You deserve the right guidance on your journey to a better smile, and that means finding the right team to show you the way. Our experienced team at Williams & Hamman Orthodontics is dedicated to making your experience a professional and personalized one, from initial consultation to your most recent checkup. If you are wondering what the best route to your perfect smile is, schedule your FREE consultation in Southaven or Olive Branch today, and let Dr. Williams and Dr. Hamman help you navigate this journey with confidence.