Orthodontic work doesn't have a fixed end date. All people's teeth are different and react to bracing in different ways. So, when you asked your orthodontist how long your child would have to wear braces, you probably got an estimate based on the orthodontist's past experience and your child's teeth. The orthodontist may have told you that the work might take longer than their estimate, but orthodontists generally don't mention the possibility of shorter brace times. So, you'll be surprised when the orthodontist tells you that your child's braces need to come off a lot quicker than anticipated.
Why do your child's braces need to be removed early?
Your Child's Teeth Are Fixed
Orthodontists tend to be pretty good at estimating how long braces stay on for. However, some people's teeth react especially well to braces and straighten out sooner than anticipated. In some cases, the orthodontist may have factored in possible problems or delays that didn't happen.
If your child's teeth are fixed, then the orthodontist will simply want to get the braces off. He or she doesn't want the teeth to continue to move now. Sometimes, your child may need to wear a retainer for a while to finish off the treatment; in other cases, he or she is done with braces.
Your Child's Teeth and Gums Have a Problem
Braces sometimes need to be taken off—either temporarily or permanently—if a patient needs dental work. Dentists can do some treatments while braces are in place, but the braces may get in the way of other procedures. So, if your orthodontist sees some decay on a tooth around a brace plate, he or she may take part or all of the braces off, so your dentist can access the whole tooth and fix the decay. All being well, the braces are re-fitted afterwards.
Sometimes, braces can cause problems with teeth and gums. For example, gums can recede during orthodontic work. While some recession may be OK, your orthodontist doesn't want to see a lot of gum movement. If the orthodontist thinks the braces are going to harm your child's gums, he or she will take them off.
Your Child's Oral Hygiene Isn't Good Enough
If your child can't or won't take good care of his or her teeth and gums during orthodontic work, then there is an increased risk of problems like tooth decay and gum disease. If your child isn't managing to keep things clean and healthy, then your orthodontist may remove the braces to avoid any further problems.
If you still aren't sure why your child's braces need to come off early, talk to your orthodontist.