If you’re in the middle of orthodontic treatment, you may have wondered if there’s a way to speed up your treatment. The surprising answer is, yes you can.
To figure out how we can speed up the effectiveness of our orthodontic treatment, we need to understand how orthodontic appliances work in the first place.
How orthodontics works
An orthodontic appliance, such as braces, or Invisalign® aligners work by putting pressure on your teeth which gradually shifts their position inside your mouth.
This pressure is applied in a variety of ways until the desired result is achieved.
With this in mind we can understand that there are essentially 2 factors which influence the speed at which your teeth will change position.
The amount of pressure that is applied, and how long the pressure is applied for.
Amount of pressure
Your orthodontist will manage the pressure being applied to your teeth by adjusting the wires, elastics and other elements of your braces.
It’s important not to apply too much pressure so that you don’t experience excessive pain during treatment, so let’s assume that your orthodontist is applying the maximum amount of pressure possible at any point in time.
Consistency of pressure
The consistency of pressure is where as a patient, you have a big opportunity to speed up the time required to achieve your end result.
So what can you do to ensure that pressure is being applied to your teeth consistently?
1. Minimise breakages
If you break a bracket or a wire, then pressure will stop being applied to that tooth which means your teeth are no longer moving towards their ultimate destination.
It might only be for a few days until you can see your orthodontist again but over the course of several months, those days will add up quickly if you’ve had several breakages.
Breakages are typically caused by either eating foods which bend, break or break your brackets and wires, or bad habits like chewing the end of a pen which can also damage your appliances.
So make sure you’re being careful with what you put in your mouth, and what you’re biting down on.
2. Wear your elastics
Elastics are a key part of applying pressure in a particular direction on your teeth.
Ensuring that you’re wearing your elastics at all times will mean that the pressure is constantly being applied, and once again your teeth are always in motion.
Ensuring that you’re closely following the instructions of your orthodontist will mean that you’re maximizing the effectiveness of your treatment over time, which means that you’ll finish your treatment sooner!