Scary Stories: What Prolongs Treatment

Gather around while we tell you a spooky tale about the individual who didn’t listen to the orthodontist’s instructions and ended up having to wear braces for an additional six to twelve months.

Once upon a time, a teen named Tommy got braces. Tommy was told that he would only have to wear braces for 16 months. For the first few weeks Tommy was great at following instructions, but as time went on he started to develop bad habits. Imagine Tommy’s surprise when he went to the orthodontist for his checkup and was told that instead of getting his braces off when he was supposed to, he would have to wear them for another six months!

We don’t want you to end up like Tommy which is why we have outlined some of the things people do – or don’t do in some cases – that tend to add extra time onto their orthodontic treatment. Take our advice seriously if you want to complete your orthodontic treatment on time.

Don’t Miss Scheduled Appointments

Making trips to the orthodontist’s office is all part of undergoing treatment. After the first few visits you may start to see these appointments as inconveniences and be tempted to miss them. Don’t do that!

Skipping scheduled appointments with your orthodontist could prolong your treatment. One of the reasons you need to have regular appointments is so that your orthodontist can check your progress. If, for some reason, your teeth aren’t shifting or moving like they should, your orthodontist can make adjustments so there aren’t delays in your treatment.

Another reason for visiting the orthodontist is for planned adjustments. If you skip an appointment where your orthodontist was going to tighten or adjust the wires, it could delay treatment because your teeth won’t be moving in the same timeframe as predicted.

The best thing you can do is to try to make all of your scheduled appointments. In the event something comes up and you can’t make an appointment, call your orthodontist and reschedule as soon as possible. This will help keep you on schedule and help you complete your orthodontic treatment in a timely manner.

Avoid Chewing on Hard Candy, Ice, and Other Objects

If you are one of those people who likes chewing on your pencil when you are thinking or snacking on ice, you should stop while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Of course, that is if you want to complete your treatment in the estimated timeframe.

When you chew on hard objects like candy, ice, and pencils, you put yourself at risk of damaging your orthodontic appliances. If your braces or wires get damaged, they won’t function properly. When your teeth aren’t shifting or moving as they are supposed to, it could result in having to wait longer to complete orthodontic treatment.

It is also best to avoid sticky foods, as they can damage or loosen parts of your appliances which can slow your treatment progress down.

Don’t Get Lazy with Oral Hygiene

We cannot stress enough how important it is that you practice good oral hygiene while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Failure to brush and floss regularly while undergoing treatment could result in the development of cavities. If a cavity forms or your gums get inflamed, these issues must be dealt with right away and this will take precedence over your orthodontic treatment progress.

Practicing good oral hygiene while undergoing orthodontic treatment means doing the following:

  • Trying to brush your teeth after every meal or snack, a bare minimum of twice per day
  • Brushing all of the surfaces of your teeth and around the brackets and wires, paying special attention to the gum line
  • Flossing at least once per day
  • Rinsing with ACT fluoride rinse right before you go to bed
  • Scheduling regular visits with your dentist, at least once every six months, for professional cleanings

When you become a patient at Melbourne Orthodontics we want you to improve your smile as fast as possible. That is why we take the time to explain all instructions to you and answer any questions you may have about wearing braces or undergoing orthodontic treatment. Call our office today to schedule an appointment to speak with Dr. Reddick about how we can help you improve your smile!