Are we there yet? Are we there yet? If you’ve been wearing your braces and you are getting close the original time estimate for treatment, you’re probably itching to get them removed so you can show off your new smile.
When driving from point A to B, it’s easy to look at the GPS and figure out that your destination is only another 30 minutes or 20 miles away. But sometimes, unexpected delays can arise- a sudden car crash or rain downpour may slow down your trip.
Braces can sometimes be highly predictable – like when we have patients that follow instructions to a T and take excellent care of their braces. But other times getting to the end goal of your braces treatment is much less predictable due to differences in biology or patient compliance. A better way to forecast the answer is by taking a look at what you’re still working on.
As your orthodontist, I can take your braces off any time you want me to, but that may not mean they’re ready to come off. Throughout your treatment, you’re relying on my eye for detail and I have a responsibility to do a thorough job for you.
In straightening your teeth, there are a number of quality control details to consider. At each appointment, I look for several little things, like if the teeth are:
While you may want to get your braces off as quickly as possible, think about how removing them now will affect the outcome of your treatment. How perfect do you want things to be?
Patients, you and I are partners all throughout your treatment, and together, we want to make sure your treatment is complete when it comes to time to remove your braces.
At the tail end of wearing braces, it’s easy to think everything looks fine, especially when you really want them off.
Think of it like handing in your homework – you could turn it in without ever checking it, but rushing it means you’re less likely to get the grade you want.
Same goes for wearing braces. You don’t want to rush the process, only to think about it later and wish you’d spent another month or two in treatment. Right now is the time to work on those little finishing touches
While accommodating requests for special occasions can be done, taking them off for certain reasons – like prom or school photos – means you’ll be compromising the outcome of your treatment. You can always find a photographer to Photoshop out your braces. It’s more important to focus on the finishing touches of your treatment, and deadlines sacrifice the little details that make your smile perfect
That said, certain deadlines are more important than others, like if you’re moving away, going to college somewhere else or relocating out of the country. If you’ve got a big date coming up and you need help deciding whether to keep your braces on, schedule a consultation and let’s talk about your next steps
Want to get your braces off faster? It’s critical that you take extra good care of your braces and follow instructions throughout your treatment. Not only will this protect your teeth, but it things will go more smoothly and efficiently. Much like sitting in a parked car, you won’t get anywhere if you don’t take action to get things moving.
For helpful hints on caring for your braces, take a look at our handy infographic, which you can rollover and get even more need-to-know tips for practicing good patient habits.