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Reasons Why Orthodontic Treatment May Be Taking Longer

No one wants orthodontic treatment to take longer than estimated. In some cases, it may be outside of your control. Others reasons can be avoided. Here are some common reasons why orthodontic treatment may be taking longer:

Common reasons orthodontic treatment may be longer that are under your control:

  • Broken Brackets from biting and chewing:

    Summary of estimated treatment time versus actual treatment time, at our Vacaville Orthodontic office.
    This summary is displayed on a patient’s chart, showing that treatment time has been exceeded by 5 months.
    • Pushing on braces with pens, pencils, fingernails, or other items stresses the glue, which leads to broken brackets.
    • Eating hard foods, such as hard candy, tortilla chips, or nuts.
    • Eating sticky or chewy food, such as Laffy Taffy or Starburst.
  • Habits related to the tongue or lips:

    • Biting on the lips or cheeks
    • Sucking on the tongue or lips
    • Pressing the tongue against the brackets
    • These habits place pressure on the glue or brackets, which may break them.
  • Inconsistent rubber band wear:

    • Use of rubber bands will correct overbites, underbites, and some cross bites.
    • If you are not wearing your rubber bands, the bite does not change, and treatment time increases.
    • If treatment time becomes too long, your result will also be compromised.
  • Incorrect rubber band wear:

    • Wearing the rubber bands in the wrong pattern, or attached to the wrong teeth, will delay treatment.
  • Inconsistent aligner wear:

    • If you leave out your aligners for too long, your teeth will not move correctly.
    • This will increase treatment length and number of refinements.
  • Poor hygiene:

    • If teeth develop cavities or gum disease during treatment, your treatment will be paused until cavities are filled and gums are healthy. This will lengthen treatment time.
    • Unhealthy teeth move slower than healthy teeth.
  • Poor appointment attendance:

    • Skipping appointments or frequently pushing out your appointments will increase your treatment time

Common reasons orthodontic treatment may be longer that are not under your control:

  • Biology:

    • Ankylosed teeth: A tooth that is fused to the bone will not move.
    • Slow tooth movement: Everyone’s teeth move at different speeds. Therefore, teeth can move faster, or slower, than average.
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth:

    • Some tooth movements may be harder to achieve.
    • Braces break easier, which will delay treatment.
    • Use an over-the-counter night guard to prevent damage from grinding and clenching.

For questions about treatment, message us or call (707) 474-4707 to schedule a complimentary consultation.