Did you know that in the US alone, about 4 million people wear braces at any given time? They are a classic teeth straightening treatment that works well for misalignments and bite issues. Still, one of the most discouraging things about braces is how long the treatment takes.
So, how long does it take for braces to straighten teeth? According to general research, braces take approximately months or years. While this may be true, the length of time is highly dependent on several factors.
This means that your treatment can be considerably shorter depending on those variables. If you’re currently looking to get braces, we’ll discuss those variables in a comprehensive guide. We’ll help you make informed decisions about this life-changing experience.
What Are the Benefits of Braces?
Several benefits come with wearing braces. These include teeth alignment, gaining a beautiful smile, and getting a healthy bite. You’ll gain the ability to chew and swallow food properly and help you prevent cavities, jaw alignment conditions, and gum disease.
You can also improve or prevent speech impediments, and with treatment, gain self-esteem and self-confidence.
How long do braces take? On average, it takes about one to three years for braces to work and straighten teeth. However, you could wear them for a shorter or longer period depending on a few things:
How Crooked Your Teeth Are
One of the most common reasons why people wear braces is to correct crooked teeth. They could also be crowded, spaced too far apart, or sticking out. The severity of your condition will play a significant role in how long you wear your braces.
Types of Braces You Wear
When you decide to get braces, there are several orthodontist treatment options to choose from. First, you can opt for traditional metal braces. These are metal brackets attached directly to your teeth, then threaded and connected with metal wires.
You’ll have to go to the orthodontist every few weeks for them to tighten the wires as your teeth align. These types of braces are recommended for severe cases of misalignment and serious correction.
Your next option is clear aligners. Your orthodontist will recommend whether Invisalign aligners are the best option depending on your case. They are clear, removable trays that you can take off whenever you need to brush your teeth.
However, you need to wear them full time for the treatment to be effective. Failure to follow your doctor’s instructions will undoubtedly prolong the length of time it tackles for the treatment to work.
The last option is the lingual braces. Lingual braces are not as popular as the last two, but they are just as effective and the most aesthetically appealing. This is because they are metal braces attached behind the teeth, where they’re not visible.
Additional Orthodontist Treatments
Depending on your oral case, your treatment may require a lot more than just braces. The additional treatments will also have an impact on how long it takes for braces to straighten your teeth. Some of the additional treatments include rubber bands, which are attached to the braces for people who need jaw alignment.
You could also get palatal expanders, which are fit in the roof of your mouth to widen the jaws. These are mostly used in conjunction with braces for kids as they are still growing. These could lessen the amount of time they need to wear their braces.
You could also get headgear, which you could wear either on your head or your face. It’s mostly worn at night and connects to the braces for complex jaw alignment issues.
How Much You Input into It
So how long does it take for braces to straighten teeth? Whenever you ask this question, understand that you have a major role to play. Your input into the treatment will have a significant impact on how long the treatment takes.
For starters, you have to discuss your needs with the orthodontist. If you have an important life event, you’re preparing for and need your teeth to be better by then, communicate your concerns. It’s also vital for you to understand that even after a few months when your teeth look good, you can take your braces off.
It may be necessary for you to complete the treatment for the bones to set right. Depending on your needs, your orthodontist will find a solution that will work the best in your favor.
When you get braces, there’s a diet you need to follow and keep. There are things you can and can’t eat as they may affect how long you wear the braces. The thing is, if you insist on eating crunchy, sticky, and hard foods, you’re likely to experience broken braces.
Broken braces will impact the length of time it takes for your teeth to straighten. You’re also likely to require an emergency orthodontist appointment to fix them.
You must have a proactive approach to your treatment to prevent prolonged treatment. You need to get regular adjustments, follow all stipulated instructions, and visit your dentist for cleanings. If you need to work out, wear an appropriate mouthguard to prevent injuries.
In addition to all that, you need to brush your teeth twice a day, mostly after taking your meals and flossing at least once a day. Always rinse your teeth with water after snacks or meals to remove food particles and follow instructions if you need to wear other orthodontist tools.
What Can You Do to Speed up the Process
The best thing you can do is cooperate and work with your dentist. Make sure you attend all appointments to tighten your braces. Missed appointments will delay the treatment, so you need to be consistent. Get appointments for teeth cleaning at least twice per year because it can get hard to clean your teeth thoroughly with braces.
If you want an even faster option, choose Invisalign aligners. These are much more discreet, and you may not even mind wearing them longer as long as you get the desired outcome. They take about 12 to 15 months on average, making them much faster.
How Long Does It Take for Braces to Straighten Teeth?
So, how long does it take for braces to straighten teeth? On average, it could take one to three years. However, as we have seen, it could be shorter or longer.
You need to talk to your orthodontist about it and find out what factors will work for your case. For more informative posts like this one, please check out our blog section today!