Like other types of health care, patient cooperation with the directions of the orthodontist is key in determining the length of treatment and the quality of the outcome.
Patients cannot sit back and relax and let the braces do all the work for them. In many instances, patients’ cooperation is needed to help make sure the bite is right. Aligned teeth within each jaw won’t stay optimally aligned unless the teeth of each jaw fit properly together.
Patient compliance with elastic wear, functional appliance wear or headgear wear can be very important in insuring a successful outcome. In addition, you must continue to see your dentist at least every six months, or more often if recommended, for check-ups and professional cleanings.
Proper cleaning of the teeth to remove food debris and plaque is important to prevent cavities, gum disease and permanent scarring of the enamel. Keeping braces from breaking or wires from getting bent will speed treatment. Avoiding hard, sticky, and chewy foods, including ice, will go a long way in preventing broken braces. Pen and pencil chewing should also be avoided.
For more information on taking care of your teeth and braces during treatment, refer to our “Oral Hygiene 101” section.
Basically, you should expect to be an active partner in the development of your new smile.
It is your fabulous smile after all and it will last and empower you for a lifetime !
Adapted from AAO