Many patients who are just starting their journey toward straight teeth ask a similar question: how long will I have to wear braces? Although the average amount of time with braces is about 24 months, each patient will have a different treatment time.
How long do I have to wear braces?
The amount of time you will have braces on depends on a variety of factors, including age, bite issues, the type of treatment and the ability to follow the instructions of your orthodontist.
The jaw and teeth of younger patients have not stopped developing yet, making the teeth arches and supporting jaw structure malleable. Children and teens tend to have shorter periods of orthodontic treatment, as their jaws are still growing. Past adolescence, the jaw and teeth are not so easily manipulated into place. The jawbones, permanent teeth and supporting structures are generally in their final positions by the time one reaches adulthood. This is one reason why getting orthodontic treatment at a young age gives some patients an advantage, especially in the area of treatment time.
While teens and children will typically need around 18 months of orthodontic treatment, adults may need two years or more to move the teeth into a fully straightened position. However, some adults have shorter or longer treatment periods depending on each specific case and taking into account other factors around braces.
For many orthodontic patients, the problem not only lies with crooked teeth, but with malocclusion. Also known as a bite that does not fit well together, malocclusion occurs when the top and bottom rows of teeth do not match up quite right. This could mean either overbite, a condition where the top teeth severely overlap the bottom teeth, crossbite where certain teeth do not match up, or underbite when the bottom teeth overlap the top teeth.
Bite corrections are widespread. Orthodontists will use helpers like elastics and palate expanders in combination with your braces to achieve a more uniform bite. Wearing your elastics and correctly using all oral appliances will speed up your treatment time.
Type of orthodontic treatment
Traditional metal braces are the cheapest and most effective method of correcting crooked teeth. Metal braces will cut down your treatment time in contrast to other types of treatment. Ceramic braces or clear braces are much more pleasing to the eye and will have similar timing to traditional braces. Other methods like invisible aligners will take some more time to correct your teeth. Adults tend to go for clear aligners when straightening teeth, as they fit best with their lifestyle and are not as noticeable as braces.
Let us guide you through the process
Finally, make sure to follow all instructions for care set by your orthodontist. Steer clear of foods like popcorn and try not to chew gum when you are wearing braces. Those who stray from our instructions tend to end up with broken brackets, which means more appointment times and a longer treatment time. Those instructions are there for a reason! Be sure to maintain your braces properly to ensure a successful orthodontic journey. Feel free to contact us if you have any more questions!
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