Many people go into braces knowing that the treatment is a long term commitment, but just how long should you expect to wear braces? Does it depend on your age, the severity of issues needing correction or other factors? Generally, most patients need to wear braces for 18 to 24 months. Let’s talk about what to expect from orthodontic treatment depending on your individual situation.
Does Age Matter?
Age can actually be a big factor when answering the question, “How long should you expect to wear braces?” Generally, the younger the patient, the easier it can be to adjust the alignment of their teeth and bite because their jaw is still growing. While the jaw is developing their teeth are naturally still shifting and settling into place. For adults, their teeth have been settled in place for years, so it can take a bit more time and effort to encourage things to shift again. The difference is still typically only a matter of months, so don’t fret if you’re getting braces as an adult.
Does Severity of the Issues Matter?
Some patients only need a few teeth straightened or spaced properly, while others may need more complex treatment such as correcting an overbite or underbite. All of these factors can determine the answer to the question of how long should you expect to wear braces, but they are all also common problems that your orthodontist deals with every day, so you can be assured that they know the most efficient way to correct them and help you achieve the beautiful healthy smile you dream of.
Is Invisalign Faster than Braces?
If you are a good candidate for invisalign, that may also shorten your treatment time by months or even years. Invisalign isn’t right for everyone because it cannot be used to correct all the issues that traditional braces can. Its removability can also pose a challenge for younger patients, resulting in increased treatment times if not worn for the recommended hours, so it is typically recommended for adults and older teenagers because of the higher likelihood of patient compliance. When worn properly, invisalign can reduce the treatment time down to 6 to 12 months in many cases.
The Sooner You Start
Only an orthodontist who has examined your teeth and jaw can tell you exactly how long you will need to wear braces. One thing is for sure, though: If you’re considering braces, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get to the finished result! So today is a great time to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist and start on your journey to a healthier smile.
Call our Melissa Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.