Last month I introduced a few scenarios we encounter that can contraindicate a patient beginning orthodontic treatment. This month, I will present two more:
3. Homecare and Dental Hygiene, Periodontal disease prevention
Whether you plan on having conventional braces or Invisalign® aligners, you must practice good homecare and have healthy gums. Invisalign® is removable so it does make it easier to brush and floss with little technique change. Braces require a little more effort than you are currently practicing.
Every patient I consult with is evaluated, and we take photographs to review together. Ask any of our OSL patients-they will confirm it! We want to make it easy for you but ultimately you need to be consistent in your daily life.
Another part of your homecare is your diet; avoid sodas, sports drinks, and sweets to prevent cavities- if you consume them. The risks to you include permanent scars and gum damage that may require more dental treatment than you had planned. Water is your best option.
Smoking is the number one environmental risk factor for gum/periodontal disease, so I encourage you to quit.
Periodontal disease is preventable, and the best prevention is starting treatment with excellent homecare. Learn to floss, use your toothbrush for 2 minutes each time for thorough cleanings.
4. The time commitment ….to get the results you want
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the average treatment takes about 22 months to complete. About 1 in 5 patients are adults. There are a series of appointments that need attending over this span of time. Seeing a local orthodontist saves you time getting to these appointments. Each appointment allows me to assess your progress, adjust your appliances, time to review instructions and answer questions you may have.
At OSL, we review a patient’s time, the plan and work to make it convenient, but patients also need to make sure they are ready to focus on what is needed. Whether they are in school or in work, they make a commitment to proceed and we make it with them. 98% of our patients finish on time or early, which is accomplished by thorough planning and discussions before the treatment begins.
Two OSL patients are shown below-along with the number of months in treatment, and number of appointments needed to finish treatment:
Orthodontic Treatment can contribute to good dental health for adults and children. At OSL, we work with our local dentists and our patients to ensure the orthodontic experience is what we all would want.
2. “Making Orthodontic Treatment More than Just Straight Teeth” Robert Boyd, Med, DDS