The most common question patients ask us is “When will my braces come off?”. More often than “What can I eat with braces?” or “Can I still play my favorite sports?” Patients want to know how long they’ll have to deal with braces at all. It’s an understandable question. Braces are hard to brush and floss around, they come with food restrictions, and they can be a source of embarrassment for teens at school or professionals in the workplace.
It’s common for patients to be excited to begin treatment, but it’s standard for every patient to begin to wonder when they’ll finally get those brackets off. Even though each patient is given an estimated treatment time wearing braces when they start, patients always hope they’ll be the exception that gets their braces off early.
How Do Braces Work?
When patients ask us how much longer their braces will be on, it’s important they understand what’s actually going on before we give them that answer. Orthodontics and the science of bite correction is very delicate. Optimal tooth movement occurs slowly, in fact, the best tooth movement is in millimeter increments over months of treatment! And, a lot of the time, you don’t get to see the results of this movement in the mirror. A big part of orthodontics is the fit of the mandible and maxilla together when you bite. And the movements to make this fit occur are more “behind the scenes” movements. Orthodontics isn’t just about straight teeth, the goal of orthodontic treatment is a beautiful smile and a healthy bite that lasts a lifetime.
Even though your teeth look straight, your upper and lower jaws must fit together correctly to prevent premature wear and tear of your bite over time. An orthodontist specializes not only in the movement of teeth, but the proper relationship between the upper and lower jaws and how it relates to facial aesthetics.
Your Orthodontist Knows Best
Orthodontists are trained experts in dental issues, diseases, and tooth movement. After becoming a dentist, an orthodontist continues with at least two or three academic years of advanced specialty education in an ADA-accredited orthodontic program. They learn the specific anatomy of the bite and the delicate science of tooth movement and malocclusion correction.
The best way to make sure your treatment goes as quickly as possible is to do everything your orthodontist recommends. Wearing your appliances for the requisite number of hours per day and keeping all your appointments on schedule is essential. Patients with good oral hygiene habits who follow all instructions will often complete treatment ahead of schedule.
If you have questions about your treatment timeline feel free to ask what still needs to be completed. Our goal is to make sure you truly understand all the aspects of your personalized treatment. So, the answer to “When will my Braces Come Off?” When the best result is achieved!