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 Reddick 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!



We have missed seeing everyone!  We are finally able to go back to work and look forward to seeing all of our patients and their families.  We are in the process of calling everyone who has missed an appointment during our forced office closure to reschedule and get back on track.  We will be working overtime in the coming months to do what we can to help. Unfortunately, our time out of work will delay treatment completion for many and for that we are truly sorry.  Most importantly, we hope this message finds everyone happy and healthy.

The health and safety of our patients, their families, and the community remain our primary focus.  We are taking as many precautions as possible for prevention of spreading COVID-19.  We will remain vigilant with our sterilization and disinfection protocols and we will  be taking additional precautionary measures as well.   If the patient or an immediate family member has been sick in the past two weeks, we ask that you please call us to reschedule the appointment to a later date as a precaution.

To limit the traffic in our building, we will be adjusting to a “parking lot waiting area”.  We will have a staff member come out to each vehicle to greet you and check the patient in.  Please call the office if you are not promptly greeted.  There are some types of appointments that require a parent’s participation, so we ask that anyone accompanying the patient into the office wear a mask or face covering.  We can provide masks if necessary. 

We will only be utilizing half of our operatories to maintain significant distance between patients.  We ask that all of our patients please thoroughly brush their teeth prior to their appointments to limit use of our toothbrushing area.  We have also installed plexiglass barriers between our front desk and the waiting area.  As always, we will continue to be committed to giving each of our patients the best experience possible!

Thank you for your understanding!

The Reddick Orthodontics Team