If you have just started with braces or clear aligners, you've likely been given an estimated time frame. Our Burnaby orthodontists are here to help you stay on track so your treatment doesn't take longer than estimated.
Orthodontic treatment is an investment in your smile, and like any other investment, you want to get the highest return possible! There are many ways to ensure your braces or clear aligners provide you with the best results, so here’s how to get the most out of your orthodontic treatment from the professionals in Burnaby.
Staying On Track With Braces
There are a number of ways that you can keep your orthodontic treatment with braces on track. Here are the top things our Burnaby orthodontists recommend to help make sure your braces aren't on for longer than originally planned.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Practices
As you know, teeth take a fair amount of work to stay healthy, and the same goes for your braces. The better you are at brushing and flossing, the fewer delays you’ll have throughout your orthodontic treatment. So in many ways, practicing good oral hygiene will actually help you get your braces off faster!
If you have braces, you should brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, but ideally after every meal so you don’t have pesky food particles hiding behind your brackets and wires all day. The same rules apply if you have Invisalign. Brushing your teeth after you eat will help keep your aligners (and teeth!) stain-free.
Adhering to Your Doctor’s Instructions
Your orthodontist doesn't just give you instructions to hear themselves talk, there are reasons behind everything they do. When they tell you to avoid crunchy foods or play sports without a mouthguard, it’s not because he wants you to stop doing the things you enjoy, it’s because he wants your braces treatment to go as smoothly as possible. Listening to your orthodontist and following his or her instructions will mean less time in the orthodontist chair and more time enjoying your life. So do what your orthodontist says and your treatment will be over before you know it.
Reduce The Risk Of Damage to Your Braces
If your braces get damaged in any way, it may cause setbacks to your treatment. For those with braces, you'll want to avoid crunchy foods as well as sticky, or overly chewy food that requires biting into such as carrots and apples. You'll also need to wear a properly designed mouthguard when playing contact sports. For those with Invisalign, this means taking care of your aligners and only washing them in lukewarm water, since hot water can warp the plastic.
Staying On Track With Invisalign
If you want to stay on track with your Invisalign treatment, follow these simple steps to ensure your treatment doesn't last longer than it needs to.
Go To Your Appointments
You'll only need to see our Invisalign providers for about 10-15 minutes every other month. Avoiding appointments or canceling them at the last minute can actually cause your results to be delayed, interfering with your mission to speed up Invisalign treatment. When you’re not able to progress to the next set of aligners, your tooth movement will stall.
Don't Lose Your Aligners
Invisalign wearers, this one’s for you. We get it: things happen and at some point during your Invisalign treatment, you might end up misplacing your aligners. Our first word of advice is not to panic. Just call your orthodontist and he’ll be able to suggest the best course of action. This may mean going back to your previous set of aligners or skipping ahead to your next set, depending on your unique situation. Disrupting your Invisalign plan can definitely slow down your progress, though, so be careful and always put your aligners safely in their case when you’re not wearing them!
Wear Your Aligners For at Least 20 Hours Every Day
Not having your aligners in your mouth for the allotted time frame may not seem like the end of the world, but it can actually be detrimental to your treatment timeline. Your teeth need to have consistent pressure on them throughout the day in order to move properly. If the trays come off on a frequent basis for a long amount of time, your teeth will want to keep shifting back to their previous location. Too much back-and-forth can damage their roots and cause relapse.
Ask About Available Acceleration Devices
Not everyone qualifies for orthodontic acceleration, but it does work for some people. These types of devices are worn over your Invisalign braces to pulse thousands of tiny vibrations across your teeth for about 15-20 minutes per day. The theory is that the more the tiny ligaments around your teeth are stimulated, the quicker they’ll facilitate tooth movement and bone remodeling to speed up Invisalign treatment. However, many Invisalign experts still advise caution when using such devices, as they may require more frequent re-mapping or possible changes in your treatment plan.
Switch To Your Next Tray as Directed
Progressing to your next set of Invisalign trays ahead of schedule may seem like an easy way to shave time off of your orthodontic treatment plan and speed up Invisalign treatment. However, orthodontists and Invisalign experts recommend against this practice. Even taking a day or two off of each two-week cycle can lead to serious side effects like relapse, bone damage, root resorption, and having to re-plan the entire orthodontic case from scratch.