How Long Will I Need Braces?
The timeline for braces can vary by patient, but typically a patient will wear braces for 24 months. Some patients wear them for less time, between 16-18 months, and then some patients may wear them longer than 24 months. Some factors come into play when determining length of required braces-wearing time, such as the severity of crowding, spacing and bite of your teeth.
Factors that can affect length of braces time
There are multiple factors that are involved when it comes to braces time. A few of these listed below might be out of your control. The one thing you can control, however, is sticking to your treatment plan and following your orthodontist’s advice.
We tend to see results vary based on the age of the patient. A patient that is still growing and developing will have a faster treatment time for braces. This is because their jaws are growing and developing while they are being treated.
Patients get braces to fix crowding or spacing in their teeth for a more uniform smile. The severity of the spacing or crowding will determine the length of time you use your braces. Some patients have severely crowded or spaced-out teeth, and some have only minor crowding and spacing.
While staying on your treatment plan might not speed up the process, straying off the path can slow it down. It is crucial to follow recommendations made by your dentist to the best of your ability.
Types of braces
There are many types of braces out there, and the type of braces you obtain might affect overall treatment times. While most conventional braces are made out of metal wiring and might be what you are thinking about when you think of braces, there are multiple different types available for patients.
Metal braces are the traditional way to treat a patient who needs orthodontic help. They are the most tried and tested method out there, and they do more than straighten your teeth out. They also fix your bite. This is why the average timeline for them tends to be around 18-24 months.
Invisalign, or clear aligners, are a thin piece of plastic that helps straighten your teeth. They are generally used for less severe cases, and for when the patient would prefer a clear alternative to their orthodontic treatment. These and metal braces are the most popular, with a similar average treatment time of 18 months. By comparison, some patients may see their treatment plan complete in as little as 6 months.
Less popular than metal braces or clear aligners, ceramic braces operate in a similar way to metal braces, but the material is weaker. This can make for a longer treatment time than the average 18-24 months.
Less common than the other treatments, lingual braces go in the back/inside of your mouth. This makes it so they are not visible, but it does mean the treatment can take more time. With that being said, much like ceramic braces, they can take up to three years.
Worried about the length of time?
The first thing you might be thinking when you start wearing your braces is, “when can I take my braces off?” Fortunately, this is just one step of your oral health journey. Your braces will help you develop better oral hygiene habits and give you that million-dollar smile that you deserve. Keeping that million-dollar smile will require the use of a retainer.
How long will I need to wear my retainer?
No matter what type of treatment you get, you will need to wear a retainer. While you may be excited that you don’t have to wear any more dental apparatuses once you get your braces off, you will still need to wear a retainer. There are many different types of retainer options out there, and the length of time you have to wear one will vary. It can be as short as 4 months or as long as 12 months of wearing a retainer.
If you still have questions about orthodontics, feel free to call us at any time. As an alternative, you can also schedule an appointment at any time to get started.