There are times in life when wearing metal braces can be a real inconvenience: on our wedding day or attending a wedding as an honored guest, a gala dinner, a communion, a date, etc. THAT’S WHEN PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN WEARING BRACES FOR MORE THAN SIX MONTHS ASK THEMSELVES: IS IT POSSIBLE TO STOP BRACES EARLY?
Most professionals in the sector and specialized orthodontists would say no, although the truth is that there are certain cases in which this option could be feasible and not pose a real problem for the final result of treatment.
When a patient decides to end their orthodontic treatment early, it is usually because they are unwilling to do so and not because the treatment is not effective. Therefore, several aspects must be evaluated before making such an important decision for the long-term health and appearance of our smile.
Below, for all those who are in a similar situation and have many doubts about whether the duration of their braces treatment can be shorter or not, we will explain when that option would be possible and all the reasons why it normally is not.
What determines the duration of braces treatment?
The first question we must answer to begin to dispel doubts about this issue is this: how long does a traditional orthodontic treatment normally last and why?
The estimated average duration of conventional braces for adults is 12 to 18 months. However, that duration can be more or less long depending on how quickly the patient responds to treatment and the difficulty of their case. It will not be the same to treat a case of totally crowded and tilted teeth, as it will be to treat a slight separation of the front teeth; the more difficult the case, the longer the braces will have to be worn.
There are also cases in which the dentist only places partial braces in certain areas of the mouth that have an incorrect position, while there are others ( especially in adolescent and child patients) in which orthodontics is placed on all the teeth, which makes their difficulty double and therefore their duration as well.
What happens if I stop my braces treatment too soon?
In those cases in which the patient has not wanted to wait to finish his treatment and has requested the removal of the braces in advance, two things have always happened: the teeth end up returning to their natural position ( incorrect ) and the patient is forced to start treatment again a year or two later when he notices that the results he had obtained at first have already disappeared.
This happens because most patients who undergo orthodontic treatment are unaware that for a conventional braces treatment to be really effective it is necessary to place a dental retainer afterwards.
Orthodontics is in charge of re-positioning the teeth, something that with the help of our dentist we will be able to do in an average of approximately 12 months, however for the results achieved to be maintained it is necessary to fix them.
AND HOW ARE THE TEETH FIXED DEFINITIVELY? BY PLACING A DENTAL RETAINER.
These retainers can only be placed by the dentist and once they are in place they are never supposed to be removed again. That is why it is so important to finish the treatment in the conditions that our dentist establishes, otherwise we will have lost time and money.
In what cases can orthodontists stop treatment early?
Although experts never recommend stopping braces early, there are a number of circumstances in which stopping treatment early may be more beneficial than continuing the process to the end.
One of the cases in which this can happen is when the patient’s teeth are suffering excessively with the treatment, causing the constant breakage of the braces or some of the arches that hold the whole mechanism in place, thus causing the treatment to be eternal and the results not to be seen.
The other case in which stopping orthodontics is recommended is when the patient does not follow the instructions of the professional, stops going to the regular check-ups and does not take care of the general hygiene of their teeth and gums.
In these cases the dentist usually plants and recommends to his patient the completion of treatment, since he has concluded that he will probably never get any positive results.