When Do I Get My Braces Off?

So you’ve taken the plunge and gotten yourself some braces. That’s great! You’ve put yourself on track to unlock the best smile possible, and you’re taking steps to ensure you don’t develop issues with jaw misalignment that can lead to painful headaches, tooth grinding, or sleeplessness! 

Maybe you just had your braces put on, or maybe you’ve been working with your team here at Periago Orthodontics for months and months. Either way, we’re sure you’re curious about one thing – just when exactly are these things coming OFF?! 

Well, we get it. Even though you’re kitted out with the top-of-the-line orthodontic equipment available in New Albany, Corydon, Floyd Knobs, and the surrounding areas, at the end of the day, your braces are something you’ll be happy to see go! That’s why we asked Dr. Periago to sit down with us and go over a few of the basics surrounding the question, “when do I get my braces off?”. 

What are my braces doing?  

While every patient is unique, there are three general goals to most orthodontic treatments that combine to create your new smile! These goals are, broadly, resolving issues around spacing or crowding, aligning the teeth so they’re in an appropriate position, and then correcting the bite. Once we’ve met all three goalposts, you can be sure your braces are ready to come off! 

Goal #1: Resolving 

Some common issues affecting orthodontic patients are crowding and spacing. First, your treatment cannot proceed until there is enough room in the mouth for that to occur. Your braces will correct crowding by shifting the positions of the teeth over time due to the continuous gentle pressure of the equipment. Likewise, in the event of spacing, the braces will accomplish the inverse by bringing them closer together. We can then proceed to goal #2 – aligning

Goal #2: Aligning

Now that there’s room, your braces will align and straighten your teeth. Your braces will align the arches via the action wires, elastic chains, springs, and other auxiliaries that rotate, tip, and torque the teeth into their desired positions. Often, your orthodontist will adjust the positions of individual brackets during this phase of treatment. As the conditions in your mouth change, brackets may serve to align teeth more efficiently by occupying new spaces. 

Goal #3: Correcting 

Now that there’s enough room and your teeth are correctly positioned, the third and final step is ensuring the upper and lower jaws come together correctly in a healthy bite pattern. 

It’s essential to ensure that your bite is correct from three perspectives – front to back, top to bottom, and side to side. In many cases, your braces can accomplish this on their own using continuous pressure to gently guide the jaws into their proper positions. In cases of extreme misalignment, Dr. Periago may refer you to an orthodontic surgeon with whom she’ll work closely to develop the best plan for your bite. 

 By the time your braces are working on this “bite phase” of treatment, you’re probably wondering when they’re coming off. As your teeth have been properly spaced and aligned by this point, you’re likely looking in the mirror and thinking, “yea, I look good!” 

Well, hey, you do look good! However, it’s vital that your braces are given the necessary time to align the jaws, as this step will be crucial to ensuring that everything stays how it should be.

When Do I Get My Braces Off?What can I do to help? 

While Dr. Periago and the team here at Periago Orthodontics will handle all the work of ensuring that your braces give you the best smile possible, it’s important that you take an active role in your treatment! Brush and floss regularly, and be sure never to miss any appointments! 

Regular check-ups ensure that your orthodontic treatment goes smoothly and quickly. Dr. Periago can make any adjustments that need to be made and keep the ball rolling toward your eventual oral liberation! So be sure never to miss an appointment! 

Thanks for reading! We can’t wait to see you again!