When am I getting my braces or Invisalign off?

September 6th, 2023

Taking someone’s braces or Invisalign off is one of my favorite things to do as an orthodontist. All the hard work that our office and our patient has put into achieving the perfect smile finally comes to a grand finale. It is a fun day and a cause for celebration.

What most patients don’t realize is that they have a lot of control over when that happens.  There is an aspect of every treatment that is controlled by the orthodontist and no one else. The interpretation of the x-rays, the development of a treatment plan, the placement of the appliances, and the design of the smile among others.

However, there is also an aspect of every treatment that only the patient controls. Whether their teeth are clean and healthy, whether they follow the guidelines to avoid candy that would break off braces, whether they wear their elastics (rubber bands) or aligners for the entire recommended time, and whether they consistently show up for their scheduled appointments. I often find myself answering the question of “When am I getting my braces off?” with another question like, “When are you going to wear your elastics?”.  This response often gets an eye roll, but it is important to understand that there are some aspects of the treatment that the orthodontist cannot control yet are critical to achieving an ideal outcome.

If you are anxious to complete your orthodontic treatment, ask your orthodontist what things you can do to speed up the process.  You might be surprised at how important you are to your own treatment.  Give us a call today and let us help you smile with confidence!

Will I need orthodontic elastics (rubber bands) as part of my treatment? - Scottsdale Phoenix AZ | Budd Orthodontics

April 12th, 2021

Most people think of orthodontic treatment in terms of making crooked teeth straight or aligning the teeth. This is an important part of braces or Invisalign and the part of treatment that most patients get very excited about. However, most patients need more than just alignment of the teeth in order to achieve an ideal result and the most esthetic, healthiest smile possible. This is the role that orthodontic elastics or rubber bands play in orthodontic treatment.  Elastics correct the bite and braces or Invisalign straighten the teeth. Well-aligned teeth look much better than crooked teeth, but this change alone will leave the teeth not fitting together very well in most cases. Poorly fitting teeth or “bad bites” can contribute to dental decay, periodontal disease, and temporomandibular joint problems over the course of time.

Elastics are the most common bite-corrector used in orthodontic treatment.  They can be used to create a similar effect to headgear or other appliances, but are a lot more comfortable and simple to wear. Most patients will need to wear elastics full-time (22 hours/day) to create the desired effect in a timely manner.  The elastics are removed and a fresh set of elastics is placed four times per day. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bedtime.) You simply remove them to eat and put new elastics into your mouth after you are done eating.

Elastics will change the way your bite fits together, which highlights the importance of who you choose to help you with your orthodontic treatment. Elastics worn incorrectly can cause a number of dental problems including tooth loss. Orthodontists are specifically trained in this type of treatment.  Only 6% of dentists are actually trained orthodontists, so make sure the doctor helping you with your treatment is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists.  Give Budd Orthodontics a call today if we can be of service to you.

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