Getting braces requires a lot of trust. You have to trust yourself and your own judgment. But more than that, it demands that you trust your orthodontic staff. Fortunately for you, Sturgill Orthodontics employs the most trustworthy teams. Both our Johnson City and Norton locations continue to accumulate 5-star Google Reviews. But now that you’ve had braces for a while, you’re wondering, “when do I get my braces off?”
It goes without saying that teeth definitely do not straighten overnight. Setting the teeth in the best position takes a consistent amount of pressure. Since repositioning our teeth is intended to be permanent, this pressure must be exerted over an extended duration. But your mouth is more than just your teeth. The gums have to have a chance to change and grow around the movement of the teeth.
Consequently, most patients will likely wear braces, on average, for 1 to 3 years. In more severe instances, the time frame might extend to the entire three years. The bottom line is that the exact timeline for braces depends on a few factors.
Things You Influence
Some of the things that affect when you get your braces off are in your control. That’s right. When wearing braces, your lifestyle choices and decisions can affect when you get them off. At the time of your treatment, Dr. Sturgill, Dr. Williams, and Dr. Harper will give you a list of guidelines. The list might include foods you should avoid and drinks you should abstain from.
Remember to wear your rubber bands! Bands are an integral part of your treatment. Patients who decide not to wear their rubber bands often unnecessarily extend the duration of their treatment. Trust us, we understand that you want to be out of braces as quickly as possible. Fight the burnout, and wear your rubber bands.
As with any medical or orthodontic treatment, you must include your treatment protocol in all your decisions. Following our team’s guidelines, you shouldn’t have too many issues. But violating the doctor’s recommendations could result in extending your time in braces.
Activities You Can Enjoy (Or Maybe Not?) With Braces
While there may not be much you can do to get out of braces faster, keeping in step with the doctor’s orders can prevent you from having to wear them longer. After getting your braces on, the doctors might give you a few new responsibilities.
For example, with braces, it’s a good idea to steer clear of carbonated beverages. So if you’re an avid Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper drinker, you’d better learn to love water. Soft, chewy candies, especially caramel, should be on the back burner. It’s also wise to keep gum at arm’s length. Are you going to the movies with your friends? Go ahead and pass on the popcorn. Foods like these can damage your braces’ wires or brackets. If you’re enjoying dinner, be mindful to slice your food into smaller pieces than you usually would. Remember to chew slowly. Never eat in haste. Practicing this will help you keep your brackets and wires intact.
Wearing braces also influences your dental hygiene practices. You’ll continue your regular teeth cleaning routine. As you brush your teeth, pay close attention to the flow of your brush. Take your time. Hurrying is not your friend. When you floss, go easy on your teeth. Gently work the floss around your wires and brackets. Also, don’t skip on the mouthwash. While braces can make brushing and flossing feel more complicated, keeping your teeth clean can mean months off your treatment.
Things You Cannot Influence
Those are a few of the things you can use to contribute to getting your braces off early. But some things are outside your scope of influence. To speed up your treatment, remember what you can control and what you can’t. For the most part, you can choose what you do or don’t put in your mouth. But, there are other factors at play. And some of these might shorten or lengthen your time wearing braces.
Your Own Age
Just like you didn’t choose the shape of your teeth, you also didn’t pick when you were born. Nobody got to determine their birthday. Therefore, you should consider your age something outside your control. As a general principle, younger patients will probably have shorter treatment time frames than adult patients. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule that’s set in stone. But from our team’s experience, kids, teens, and young adults will be out of braces closer to the 1-year mark. Keep in mind that this is just a rule of thumb. And it has exceptions.
The Severity of Your Issue
Braces can indeed fix a litany of dental problems. Most often, they are used to rectify what the doctors call “malocclusions.” Malocclusions are bad bites. And like any problem with the body, some cases are worse than others. There is a spectrum with bad bites. And each must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Some examples of malocclusions are:
- Open bite: when you close your mouth, your teeth remain open
- Crowded teeth: the teeth don’t have enough space between them or don’t have room to erupt
- Overbite: the top teeth reach too far beneath the bottom teeth
- Underbite: when you close your mouth, the lower teeth sit in front of the upper teeth
- Crossbite: parts of the upper and lower teeth intersect and/or overlap
At the time of your appointment, the state of your teeth is out of your control. But, because you chose to get braces, you made the correct choice.
Get Your Braces Off ASAP At Sturgill Orthodontics
We’ll have you out of those braces as soon as we can. Stick with your treatment protocols and before you know it, your braces will be a distant memory. Go here to schedule a free consult.