When patients begin orthodontic treatment with braces, there is always be the inevitable question of when they will be done. While we can give you a pretty accurate estimate, there is always some potential for our timeframe to be a bit off. Here are some reasons your teen’s braces are taking longer than expected.
Missing or Changing Appointments
The ideal practice when scheduling future appointments is to select your next date and time before you leave the office after your current appointment. If this isn’t possible, it’s always recommended to schedule your next appointment as soon after your last one as you can.
If you do miss your appointment, it can be difficult to schedule one less than a few weeks out. We understand if you make an appointment a few weeks in advance, unforeseen circumstances may cause you to miss it. If this happens, be sure to reschedule as soon as you can.
Breaking a bracket, whether due to eating crunchy foods or receiving an impact to the face, can set your timetable off quite a bit when in braces. If you break a bracket later on in your treatment, you may even need additional appointments to get your teeth back on track. Do your best to avoid damaging your braces, but if something does happen, contact our office to get them fixed as soon as possible.
Not Wearing Rubber Bands Long Enough
If your teen is using elastics to correct your bite, wearing them enough hours every day is essential to moving their jaw in the right direction. The only time bands should be off is for meals or brushing and flossing. It’s also important to replace them as directed by the orthodontist so the pressure can keep adjusting your bite.
Not Keeping Up with Cleaning
While by now your teen should know the consequences of not brushing or flossing enough, they may not know that failing to keep up with adequate cleaning habits can actually get in the way of teeth movement. For instance, if we need to close a gap between two teeth, inflammation or plaque buildup can get in the way of this.
Only Scheduling Before or After School Appointments
Your orthodontic team has a plan in place for your child’s treatment, which includes the optimal length of time there should be between every follow-up appointment. Each time you pick a later date to reserve a more preferable time slot, such as after school or when they have a day off, you can end up extending your child’s treatment. We understand that it can be hard for kids to miss school or to schedule around extra-curricular activities, just know that it may prolong the time they are in braces.
Other Reasons Braces Are Taking Longer
While some of the reasons a patient may have their treatment extended are under their control, there are some things outside of their control. For instance, orthodontists are generally pretty accurate when predicting a teenager’s facial growth, but sometimes genetics throw a curveball and the timing has to be adjusted. There also might be a tooth that is just more stubborn than anticipated, and extra time is needed to straighten or shift it.
Here at Milnor Orthodontics, we look out for every patient’s best interest and appreciate your understanding if we have to extend your treatment. At the end of the day, the wait will be totally worth it once you get your new smile!