Dr. Gina Lee’s Helpful Hacks: When Will Your Braces Come Off?

“When can I get my braces off?” We hear this question all the time.

Knowing when you will be able to get your braces off can give you a goal to look forward to. While it is impossible to predict, months or years ahead of time, exactly when you will be able to get your braces off, there are a few factors that contribute to when you can get your braces off.

Are you following the orthodontist’s instructions?

One of the things that can seriously slow down treatment is a patient who does not follow the instructions given by Dr. Lee. Keeping up a cleaning routine is vital to any treatment. Some treatments require patients to be more involved than others. We try to give clear instructions to our patients so they know exactly what they have to do in order to ensure their treatment proceeds on schedule.

Are your teeth responding to the treatment?

Despite our combined best efforts, some teeth may not be cooperating. While braces or Invisalign can fix a whole gauntlet of problems, it is possible that some teeth move more slowly than originally anticipated. If there are teeth that are simply not responding to treatment as quickly as we had originally hoped, braces may have to be left on longer than we first anticipated.

How complex were the original problems?

How many issues were identified at the beginning of treatment and how complex those issues were can contribute to a prolonged treatment. Both traditional braces and Invisalign may go on for longer than anticipated if the problems are not easily corrected.

Has the patient been diligent with their role in their own treatment?

There are many orthodontic treatments that require heavy patient involvement. For example, treatments like headgear and rubber bands (elastics), which are all on the responsibility of the patient to insert and properly use on a day to day basis. Without diligent patient cooperation, these treatments will not be effective and can extend the estimated time in braces.

Are all gaps completely closed up?

Even if the teeth are straight and relatively well aligned, there may still be gaps in between the teeth that the patient and Dr. Lee want to address. Just because the bite looks good in the front, doesn’t mean that treatment is completely finished. Any remaining gaps can become places for food and plaque to collect. Closing up all of those leftover gaps before removing the braces may extend treatment, but the patient will be happy for it in the end.
Is the bite correctly aligned?

The teeth might be straight, but the bite might not yet be correctly aligned. This is one of the number one ways we will tell whether or not your treatment is finished. If your upper and lower teeth line up and there is a proper overlap of the top and bottom teeth in the front of the mouth, it may be time to remove the braces. If not, even a straight smile may need a little more time with the braces.

Having patience and compliance with your treatment is the fastest and easiest way to get your braces taken off to a beautiful smile!

If you are ready to start your journey to a perfect smile, call our office today for a complimentary consultation!

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