Getting the ideal smile you’ve always dreamed of is something to be excited about. But what’s not so exciting to orthodontic patients is, well, the patience it takes to finish treatment. Even though orthodontics is more advanced than ever, it doesn’t mean you can get straight teeth overnight. Most likely, you’ll be in treatment for a year or more before your new smile is complete. This leaves many patients wondering if they can make their treatment go faster.

Can You Speed up Orthodontic Treatment?

Not exactly. Modern orthodontic treatment is already designed to work as fast as possible without damaging your teeth or jaws. Your orthodontist will take a careful look at your teeth and examine x-rays to determine the best possible route forward when it comes to straightening your teeth and improving your smile. Then they will prescribe a treatment plan that provides the best combination of teeth-straightening pressure and safety.

While there may be times when you’re tempted to end your treatment early, if you do this before your teeth are done moving, you’ll never get to see the final results. They’ll obviously be better than they were when you started, but you could still be left with issues like an uncomfortable bite or crowding that traps food and plaque. Finishing what you started is the only way to get a smile that looks and feels its best.

Staying on Pace with Your Progress

There’s no real way to “speed up” orthodontic treatment, but you can prevent your treatment from being delayed by following your orthodontist’s instructions. If you have conventional braces, be sure to protect the brackets and wires by wearing an orthodontic mouthguard while playing sports. You should also adhere to food guidelines and avoid chewy or crunchy foods. Doing both of these are simple steps that can prevent damage to your braces. If you do damage your braces, you will ultimately delay your progress.

When it comes to Invisalign, you will have to exercise a little more self-discipline to keep your treatment progress on track. The fact that the aligners are removable eliminates the need for food restrictions, but you’ll also have to make sure you keep your aligners in at least 22 hours per day. If you make a habit of forgetting to put them in after a meal or leaving them home when you go to a party, you can delay the end of your treatment. If you have a teen, Invisalign Teen helps keep them on track with indicators on the aligners that show how long they are being worn, but your child is still responsible for making sure they’re in their mouth the majority of the day.

Don’t Try Shortcuts

While this should go without saying, you shouldn’t try to speed up your orthodontic treatment in any way. There are some wild internet claims out there that can end up harming your smile, such as the idea that you can double up on your rubber bands to make your teeth move faster. This is dangerous and at best will cause jaw pain. At worst, it could damage your teeth and your jaw. Simply stick to your orthodontist’s instructions, and you will finish your treatment on time with the best results.

To learn more about life with braces and to see which treatment options are right for you, schedule your free consultation at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists today!