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How to Get Braces off Sooner Than Expected

For most people, wearing braces isn't a very fun experience. We all know that braces can help straight our teeth and give us a better look that might last a lifetime, but to many of us, the time spent wearing braces just isn't that fun.

Many people wonder how they can get their braces off as quick as possible without compromising the straightness of their teeth. Here are some tips for getting your braces off sooner than expected:

1. Opt for the Stronger Wires

When your orthodontist gives you a choice between lighter, more flexible wires and thicker, sturdier ones, always opt for the stronger wires.

The thicker wires apply extra force to your teeth, which speeds up the straightening process. Weaker, more flexible wires move teeth more gently over longer time periods.

You may experience some initial discomfort and tightness after thicker wires are placed. Over-the-counter pain medication can relieve soreness as you adjust to the new wires. Any irritation typically subsides within a week.

Using more rigid wires means you'll need to be extra diligent with oral hygiene. Brush and floss thoroughly to prevent plaque buildup and decay around the braces. See your dentist every 6 months for a professional cleaning as well.

In some cases, teens or younger patients may start with more flexible wires at the beginning of treatment. As their teeth adjust to the forces of braces, the orthodontist will then switch them to heavier wires to continue progressing.

Discuss your options thoroughly with your orthodontist. Make sure to voice your preference for the strongest wires suitable for your particular teeth and treatment plan. This can shave off weeks or even months of braces time, getting you closer to your perfect smile.

The temporary discomfort of rigid wires is well worth it when you consider the faster results. With your orthodontist's guidance and oversight, opting for the strongest wires possible is one of the best ways to accelerate your braces treatment.

2. Follow Instructions

One of the best ways to get your braces off as early as possible is to follow all of the instructions that your orthodontist gives you.

When you first get your braces on, they will give you an estimated outline for your procedure, but if you do everything that you’re supposed to, there is a good possibility that they will come off early.

One of the areas that can make a big difference in your braces timeline is wearing rubber bands. Make sure that you wear your rubber bands exactly the way that your doctor tells you to.

It is also important to wear your rubber bands at night. Wearing rubber bands can be a bit of a pain, but so are braces in general, so you might as well do it and make things move faster.

3. Avoid Bad Foods and Drinks

Being mindful of what you eat and drink with braces is key to faster removal. Certain foods are notorious for damaging braces or getting stuck in wires and bands. Make sure to avoid the following:

  • Gum - The sticky, gummy texture can adhere to brackets and under wires. Always opt for sugar-free gum to protect your teeth if you do chew it.

  • Caramel - It can get lodged in your appliance and is packed with sugar that causes cavities. Stick to lower sugar candy if you have a sweet tooth.

  • Toffees and hard candies - Their hardness can snap wires or brackets. Suckers like lollipops are also risky.

  • Sticky, chewy foods - Things like licorice, Skittles, dried fruit, and marshmallows can cling to braces.

  • Crusty breads - Baguettes, croissants, and tough pizza crust can also break parts of your braces.

  • Crunchy snacks - Hard pretzels, chips, nuts, seeds, popcorn, and granola may get stuck.

  • Corn on the cob - Kernels can wedge tightly between wires and teeth. Opt for corn cut off the cob instead.

  • Chewy, tough meats - Brisket, ribs, and jerky require too much tearing with your braces. Slice or chop meat before eating.

  • Ice - It can bend and damage wires. Allow ice cubes to melt before chewing.

  • Soda and sports drinks - Their acidity erodes tooth enamel and accelerates decay around braces.

Stay away from anything that can possibly loosen or break your braces. Be meticulous about cleaning your teeth and appliance after meals. Following your orthodontist's diet guidelines will prevent delays and get you one step closer to finishing treatment.

4. Form Good Habits

If you want to get your braces off sooner, you should always make sure to keep your mouth clean and stay healthy. This requires you to form some good habits to do so. Follow these habits to keep your teeth and braces in optimal shape:

  • Brush carefully after each meal - Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Take time to gently brush around each bracket, wire, and band.

  • Floss thoroughly daily - Use floss threaders to cleanly floss between each tooth with braces. This prevents plaque buildup and cavities.

  • Rinse after eating - Swish vigorously with an antibacterial mouthwash to dislodge food debris.

  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks - They seriously heighten decay risk with braces. Moderate your sugar intake.

  • Use wax and orthodontic gel - Put wax on any braces rubbing or poking your cheeks. Use medicated gel on irritated gums.

  • Take prescribed pain medication - Use OTC meds as directed by your orthodontist to manage soreness after adjustments.

  • Wear headgear or elastic bands as required - Consistently wear any auxiliaries to help your teeth align.

  • Attend all adjustments and appointments - This ensures braces are working effectively and no problems are arising.

  • Stop habits like nail biting, pen chewing, teeth grinding, and lip sucking - All of these can damage braces or slow your progress.

  • Get dental cleanings every 6 months - See your general dentist to prevent permanent stains or white spots on teeth beneath braces.

Making braces-friendly oral care routines second nature will optimize your treatment. Avoiding harmful habits protects your investment. With diligent daily habits and hygiene, you'll get your braces off ASAP.

5. Discuss with Your Orthodontist

If you are completely tired of wearing your bracing and want to get them off early, then you should discuss your options with your orthodontist.

There is always a chance that they can work with you to help you get the braces off early than planned for situations like taking important pictures.

There is a chance that you will be able to wear a well-fitting retainer as a substitute for having the braces if your teeth have reached a certain point.

There is also a chance that your orthodontist will be able to tighten your braces to speed up the process, but It might be a lot more uncomfortable than the outlined plan but it could speed things up.

The only way to know for sure is to ask, so don’t be afraid to bring up your question the next time you visit your dentist.

6. Consider Invisalign or Clear Braces

If traditional metal braces are not an absolute necessity for your treatment, you may want to discuss more discreet options like Invisalign or clear ceramic braces with your orthodontist.

Invisalign uses a series of customized, removable aligners to gradually shift teeth into place. As aligners can be taken out for eating, brushing, and flossing, treatment can progress a bit faster than fixed braces. Aligners are also changed every 1-2 weeks, so teeth are moving more frequently.

Clear ceramic braces function similarly to metal braces, but are much less visible on teeth. They blend in more with natural tooth color. Clear braces tend to be slightly less irritating on cheeks and gums as well. As patients may be diligent with oral hygiene and appointment attendance when wearing less noticeable braces, clear options can lead to faster overall treatment timelines.

Discuss Invisalign and clear braces with your orthodontist to see if they may be suitable choices for your particular case. If you are a good candidate, these discreet options can shave off weeks or months compared to conventional braces.

7. Be Patient

While you can take proactive steps to safely accelerate your braces treatment, it's important to have realistic expectations about timing. Moving teeth too drastically or quickly can lead to dental problems like gum loss or nerve damage down the road.

Have reasonable goals for your timeline based on your orthodontist's estimate and unique teeth. Progress will happen gradually, so you need to be patient through the overall process. Proper tooth movement takes months for most patients.

Also remember that brackets, wires, and elastics all need time to apply the ideal forces to shift your teeth into alignment. Rushing any phase too much can mean your teeth don't settle as well or your bite isn't totally corrected.

Stay on top of your appointments and oral hygiene, but let your orthodontist guide the actual pace. With their expertise and your cooperation, you'll get your dream smile in the healthiest, safest way possible.


In this article, we showed some tips for getting your braces off sooner than expected. Even though getting your braces off early seems enticing, if your teeth aren’t ready yet, you need to be patient until the doctor gives you the green light. 

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