Braces are a common orthodontic treatment for all ages. Currently in the U.S., over four million people wear braces, and out of those, 25 percent of them are adults. Typically, people wear braces for 16 to 18 months. If your treatment is taking longer, you might wonder why your braces are still on when other people are getting theirs removed. Here are the top three reasons your braces are still on.
Poor dental hygiene
Brushing and flossing your teeth are important parts of your braces care. You should brush at least three to four times a day for two minutes, and floss at least once a day, as food and sugar can get stuck in and around your braces. If your teeth aren’t cleaned properly, bacteria can get trapped around the metal brackets, causing plaque build-up and cavities. In worst case scenarios, these cavities can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. All these issues can delay treatment, as the braces will need to be removed to treat the dental issues.
Eating sticky or hard foods, like caramel, taffy, popcorn, and raw veggies can cause brackets or wires to fall off or become bent. If this happens, it will delay treatment until you can visit your orthodontist to fix the broken part.
At the start of your braces treatment, your orthodontist will create a plan that includes an appointment schedule to follow. To keep your treatment moving forward, you need to attend appointments according to your orthodontist’s recommendation. If you miss an appointment and don’t reschedule quickly, your treatment could be delayed, since these appointments are often used to tighten braces and make adjustments as needed.
Your body’s reaction: a big reason your braces are still on
Everybody’s mouth reacts differently to orthodontic treatment. Your teeth may move more slowly than anticipated, leading to a longer treatment time. Although orthodontists try to ensure there are no complications, some might arise, which can extend treatment as well. You could develop TMJ, which is a jaw issue, or you could receive a mouth injury requiring the removal of the braces.
Your issues might just be harder to correct than other people’s. Your overbite or underbite might be more severe, so it might require longer treatment. Or your teeth might need more time to move into place. Once teeth are in place, you need to wait for new bone to grow to hold your teeth in their new position, and some people grow bone at a slower rate. These can all be reasons your braces are still on.
When you are wearing braces, the most important thing you can do is follow the advice of your orthodontist. By sticking to the recommended treatment plan, you can ensure your treatment is smooth and as quick as possible. If you are ready to take the first or next step in your orthodontic treatment, contact North Carolina’s premiere orthodontists, My Orthodontist, for a free consultation.