How to Speed Up Orthodontic Treatment


Ok, so you've started braces and doctor has quoted treatment time to be X amount of months/years. Whether you've gone with brackets-and-wires or invisible aligner trays (both of which we offer, by the way), anyone who's ever worn teeth-straightening appliances will tell you: it's not the most fun thing to have on.

  • Sometimes the brackets come off and you have to book an appointment.

  • Sometimes the wire pokes out into your mouth (ouch!) and you have to see the orthodontist.

  • Sometimes you run out of dental wax and the metal irritates the insides of your cheeks.

  • Sometimes the aligner tray doesn't fit and you have to come in.

  • Sometimes your teeth start moving in its own random direction.

  • Sometimes it feels like there's just so much pressure on your teeth (ugh!)

And just for the sake of dramatic blogging - when any of these scenarios happen, it happens when dentist is out of town.


So, as practitioners, we can understand if you just want to speed up the process as much as you can for the duration of your treatment. Here's how:


1) Stay on schedule with all of your Ortho Review appointments.


When you begin braces, you're committing to fairly regular adjustments with us and for the duration of your treatment, you'll be seeing us quite a bit if you want the braces to 'work'. As your teeth shift, orthodontic appliances need to be adjusted (or 'tightened' as many people like to say) - so that they continue applying the right pressure to your teeth and keep them moving towards the straight smile you're looking for.


However, if you postpone an appointment here and postpone an appointment there and cancel this appointment and cancel that appointment (and do this for the entire duration of your time with braces), what you're really doing is dragging out your treatment process longer than it needs to be. Make sure you stay on schedule and you won't be wearing them forever.


2) Switch Invisalign trays and follow instructions religiously. If you're going away on vacation and don't have enough aligners to make the next switch, book your review before you leave so that you have that next tray on hand.


Perhaps this blog post should have been called, "How not to prolong your ortho treatment" instead - LOL. But, it really is all about keeping up with the doctor's recommendations as they come - because that's what's going to keep treatment time to a minimum.


If your braces treatment involves the use of elastics or chewies or trays, they are there for a reason, so make sure to utilize them to maximize the efficacy of wearing your braces.


For example, in Invisalign cases, each tray is designed to be worn for about 2 weeks, about 22 hours a day. If you wear it for less time in a day, there could be less movement. If you forget to switch them - you'd be wearing the same tray past the time when it's still applying force to your teeth and treatment time will be longer. If you're given chewies, they help aligners fit tighter -> the tighter the fit, the more force it applies to your teeth and the more efficiently your teeth will move.


3) Come in when you have an ortho emergency ASAP.


Like with the first two tips, this is another one that is in your best interest not to postpone. Sometimes, it can be uncomfortable (like with a pokey wire), but sometimes, you might not feel it at all (like when a bracket comes off or you lose a tray). But, in any case, when the ortho gear isn't where its supposed to be, it could lead your teeth to shift in an undesired direction - and will require extra time to correct. If you forget to wear a tray (or your retainer) - or its lost, as another example, your teeth can actually regress back to the way it was. So, make sure you get replacements as soon as possible.


4) If you notice teeth shifting in a weird/unexpected way or not shifting at all in a specific location, don't be afraid to book an appointment to see us.


Sometimes even with the computerized planning, things can happen and the sooner it is identified, the sooner it can be guided back to where it was supposed to go. This is what one of our Smiling Stars said:

Speaking from personal experience, there was one point in time where my Invisalign was failing to move 2 teeth together. When Dr. Shirley examined it, my dental anatomy was actually preventing that closure (I think that was her way of saying nicely - that my tooth was a funny shape!) So, she helped to shape it to 'normal' and that gap *finally* closed with the next couple of aligners.

Had this person not come in, the spacing between those two teeth would probably still be there.


5) Use your vPro5 Propel Orthodontics Options


Speeding up your ortho treatment time can be easy.


In some cases, we suggest using Propel Orthodontics to get a move-on with your braces treatment. It's great with stubborn teeth that just don't want to be moved. Speak to our team of doctors for more information.


6) Keep routine cleaning and check up appointments.


It might not seem 'orthodontic-related', but it is especially important to keep up with routine hygiene and check up appointments while you're undergoing braces/Invisalign. And you're right in thinking that it neither adds to nor reduces treatment time of the braces if you go to or skip out on routine cleanings. However, however - it is the worse thing ever - to finish off and have your orthodontic appliances removed...only to find out that every tooth has a cavity.

...

...

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That means more dental appointments overall :( :( :(.


So, how does this happen, you ask? Well, Ortho Review appointments only focus on the alignment of your teeth - we're not actively looking for decay and/or other issues. Obviously, if a huge problem is glaring up at us, we're going to let you know - but for things like tiny but deep cavities, we might not be able to see. That's what checkups and cleanings are for - and if you skip out on them, we wouldn't be able to advise you to get them fixed when they're small problems (so they might surprise you after your ortho treatment as bigger problems). And, if we're routinely checking up on your home care and hygiene, we'd be able to inform you which parts of your mouth need more attention and/or give you tips on brushing when you've got brackets and wires in your way - both focused on preventative care based on what we see when we're examining the health of your teeth.

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