What is expected of me during treatment?

Like other types of health care, patient cooperation with the directions of the orthodontist are key in determining the length of treatment and the quality of the outcome. In many instances, patients’ cooperation is needed to help make sure the bite is right. Patient compliance with elastic wear, functional appliance wear or headgear wear can be very important in insuring a successful outcome.

Proper cleaning of the teeth to remove food debris and plaque is important to prevent cavities, gum disease and permanent scarring of the enamel. Bad hygiene can lead to termination of the treatment. That is why we recommend professional cleaning every 3-6 months during active orthodontic treatment.

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. Broken appliance doesn’t work properly and leads to longer treatment.

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.

In general, you should expect to be an active partner in the development of your new smile. It is your smile, after all.


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