We’re living in a time of convenience – and for the most part, it’s wonderful! We can communicate instantly, buy items online and get them the next day, and have all the information we need in an instant. And because of that, many patients are surprised when orthodontists tell them that it will be months or even a couple of years before they get the healthy, perfect smile of their dreams. Here’s why braces and aligners take so long to deliver results.
Jaws are tough stuff
Orthodontists are working with some of the toughest bones, ligaments, and tissue in your body. The human jaw can deliver a bite of up to 125kg of force, with the average female bite measuring 50kg of force and the average male at 70kg of force! This is no laughing matter, as it requires your teeth to be firmly planted into your jawbone and held in place by powerful ligaments and gum tissue.
So, moving teeth out of a crooked position into the correct one means firmly but slowly pulling and pushing them out of their settled position. This allows the tooth to move and the jaw’s ligaments and structure to adjust properly to hold the teeth in their new position. Too much force too quickly can damage the teeth and jaw, and removing braces too early allows the ligaments to pull the teeth back into their old, familiar position. Remember, your teeth have spent years in the wrong alignment, so it takes a lot of consistent effort and time to get them used to and settled in their new position.
The more severe the misalignment, the longer they take
Each person’s teeth are unique, so what works for a friend or family member may not work for you. For example, some cases are suited to clear aligners while others need a more powerful solution like braces. Some people may need teeth removed to make space in their jaw, while others may have wide spaces between teeth that need to be filled. And some people may need braces for a year while others need 2-3 years of work. The important thing to remember is that while your journey is unique, all orthodontic treatments are about reaching the same goal – a healthy and attractive smile.
How to make your braces or clear aligners work faster
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make your journey as short as possible:
- Support excellent oral health – Unhealthy teeth and gums will require extra treatment, often delaying your orthodontic treatment. Also, healthy teeth and gums adjust faster, so floss and brush as directed by your orthodontist, and keep up with 6-month visits to your dentist.
- Protect your orthodontics – Damage to your braces or aligners will affect their performance and can delay treatment, so remember to protect your braces while playing sport, keep them clean, and avoid prohibited foods.
- Keep your appointments – Your orthodontist will adjust your braces or aligners at each appointment, which can be uncomfortable – but it does bring you one step closer to your dream smile, so never skip or delay an appointment unless it’s unavoidable.
- Follow all instructions – Your orthodontist knows exactly what you need to do to get your teeth into their correct alignment, so following all their instructions will get you to your goal as quickly as possible. Wear your aligners or retainers for the right amount of time, wear rubber bands as instructed, and always come in as quickly as possible if your braces need a repair or you lose an orthodontic device.
Get a free orthodontic consultation in Melbourne
If you’re interested in creating a healthy and confident smile, come and visit our orthodontic clinic for a free consultation. We’ll help you find the right braces for your teeth, whether they are metal braces or clear aligners, or clear braces!