Orthodontic treatment can be life-changing for most patients. A brighter, straighter smile, self-confidence boost, better oral health, and improved facial structure are just some of the amazing benefits you can enjoy. It is no wonder that over 4.5 million Americans start wearing braces each year.

Patients may have to wear braces for an average of 18 to 24 months. For mild cases, the period may be as short as six months with Invisalign. Others may have to bear wearing the aligners for up to three years. Your orthodontist can create a customized orthodontic treatment plan depending on the severity of your condition and your age.

You may be eagerly counting down the days to getting your metal braces removed. Here are five smart tips that help you avoid prolonging your treatment longer than is necessary.

1. Follow All Orthodontic Instructions

Throughout your orthodontic treatment period, your orthodontists will provide specific instructions and advice on caring for your braces. One of the most ignored instructions is the wearing of elastics. While the rubber bands may feel uncomfortable while sleeping, they can help accelerate your teeth movement.

Additionally, if you prefer Invisalign aligners, you’ll need to ensure that you wear the clear aligners for the recommended 20-22 hours a day.

2. Take Care of Your Braces

The best way to get off your orthodontic devices sooner is by taking good care of them. It starts by maintaining proper hygiene throughout the treatment period. Brushing at least twice daily and flossing your teeth can help remove plaque and tartar buildup.

Poor oral hygiene may cause tooth decay and gum disease that can derail the progress of your orthodontic treatment.

3. Watch What You Eat

Wearing your braces may mean a change in your diet. Hard and sticky foods can easily damage your brackets and wires. Avoid placing unnecessary pressure on your brackets by chopping up food into smaller pieces.

The ideal option is to eat soft, smooth, and liquid foods. In addition to watching what you eat, keep a close eye on hard non-food items that you may have a habit of biting into. Chewing on pens, pencils, ice cubes, or nail-biting is not recommended.

4. Avoid Missing Your Orthodontic Appointments

Patients often blame postponing their trip to the orthodontist’s office on their busy lifestyle. Regular visits are critical in analyzing your progress and adjusting your braces accordingly. For Invisalign, you can receive your next set of aligners, similar to teeth tightening. Missing scheduled appointments can set your treatment plan back weeks or even months.

5. Inquire About Accelerated Treatment Options

Modern orthodontic treatments continue to see the development of devices and procedures that guarantee shorter timelines for wearing braces. Some treatment methods can accelerate the movement of your teeth to the correct position, arguably helping you get your braces off much faster.

You’ll need to wear your braces until the end of your orthodontic treatment to guarantee the best results. While there are no shortcuts to cut down the time recommended by your orthodontists, the tips above can keep you from drawing out the treatment longer than necessary. You can learn more about braces treatment by scheduling a free consultation with Nowlin Orthodontics in Tulsa.