Who doesn't want to enjoy a new smile as quickly as possible? The length of orthodontic treatment can vary based on how complicated your treatment is, age, and genetics among other variables. Here are 5 ways to help keep your treatment with clear aligners on track and finish as quickly as possible:
1. Accelerating Technologies
Advances in orthodontic technology continue to give rise to new procedures that could potentially shorten treatment time. These include micro-osteoperforations (MOPs), custom appliances, temporary mini anchorage devices (TADs), and tools such as Acceledent. Though some of these technologies have been shown to give benefit, others have unfortunately been shown to do very little (if anything). Before you invest in one of these technologies, talk to your orthodontist - they can advise if the accelerated program works, and if it is a good fit for your case.
2. Keep Up With Appointments
One of the most important aspects of finishing orthodontic treatment in a timely manner is keeping up with your appointments. The estimated treatment time your orthodontist gives is based on regular appointment intervals. If your goal is to complete treatment in less time, then you’ll also want to focus on being seen as planned. If you miss scheduled appointments, or cannot be seen at a recommended interval, you’ll likely end up delaying your treatment.
3. Report Damaged Attachments
You will likely have some tooth colored "attachments" temporarily bonded on to your teeth to allow your aligners to fit snugly and for tooth movement to take place. It is important to pay attention to these and let your doctor know if any break off. If these become damaged or broken, your tooth movement can become compromised which can delay your treatment.
4. Wear Your Appliance Correctly
Since invisible aligners are sleek, comfortable and easy to place, wearing for the recommended 20 - 22 hours a day usually doesn't take much effort. If trays are not worn for enough time, teeth will not track properly which can add appointments, delay your treatment, and lead to less than ideal results. Because the trays are clear they can be easily lost, eaten by a pet, or accidentally thrown out. It is important to keep your trays in your aligner case when you aren't wearing them.
Some bites may require a bite corrector or elastics to correct. If Dr. Godley prescribes elastics, they are a must to obtain the best results. Be sure to follow the instructions you’re given for them — these elastics play a big role in aligning your teeth and bite. Unless instructed otherwise, these are worn daytime and nighttime except for eating or special occasions. It can be tempting to play with them or even take them off. However, doing so will only prolong your orthodontic treatment.
5. Keep Your Mouth Healthy
Wearing clear trays full time, you'll be at a higher risk for tooth decay, enamel erosion, and gum disease. Good oral hygiene is your best tool against against fighting these. Believe it or not, a healthy mouth often results in faster treatment! That's right - clean, healthy gums are more likely to allow teeth to move faster when your body doesn't have to fight off inflammation and plaque. Seeing your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and evaluation is also important to ensure healthy teeth during treatment.
When you can’t brush your teeth after a meal, we suggest at least swishing with water thoroughly to help remove food particles. Rinsing with water also helps remove acids and returns your mouth to a pH level that’s less hospitable to the bad bacteria that can turn into plaque.
While there may be no big shortcut with Invisalign clear aligners, following these tips for treatment can help towards revealing your brand new smile as quickly as possible. Dr. Godley and our team at Godley Family Orthodontics are happy to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to contact our Zionsville Carmel office, or book an appointment online.