When you first get your braces on, one of the biggest questions you're sure to have for your dentist or orthodontist is "How long do I have to wear these?" The answer, of course, varies. Some people need braces for 2 years; others only need them for 6 months. It's often hard for your dentist to give you an exact answer since your exact wear time will depend on a number of factors -- including how well you care for your braces and mouth while wearing braces. If you want to get your braces off as soon as possible, follow these tips.
Don't mess with your rubber bands.
The rubber bands that your orthodontist has you put on your braces are there for a reason. They're meant to help the braces pull your teeth in a certain direction. Playing with your rubber bands can be tempting, but it also slows down your progress. If you pop them off and don't replace them for a few hours, that's a few hours in which your braces are not doing exactly what they need to do. So try your best not to fidget with your rubber bands, and carry a package of them with you so that you can replace one immediately if it pops off. If you have trouble fidgeting with your bands, consider carrying a stress ball or some Silly Putty with you to play with instead to distract yourself.
Watch what you eat.
Your dentist will give you a list of foods to avoid with braces. This will include sticky foods like caramels as well as overly crunchy foods like nuts and whole apples. Make sure you adhere closely to these recommendations -- and avoid anything else crunchy or sticky, even if it's not specifically on the list. If you damage your braces with these foods, they won't be as effective until you have time to go back to your dentist and have them fixed.
Be very attentive to your dental hygiene.
Make sure you brush your teeth and floss very carefully and thoroughly when you are wearing braces. If your teeth start experiencing decay due to poor hygiene, your dentist may need to remove a brace or two temporarily to address it. This will slow down your progress.
To learn more about proper braces wear and how to accelerate your process, speak with your dentist. They can give you additional tips based on your own oral habits and tooth placement. Visit websites like http://northwestdental.com/ for more info.